Apr 17, 2016

Following your heart?

They say what you regret the most at the end of your life, is those things you didn’t do. I am not sure that will be true for me.

I have taken all the chances I have been given, personally and professionally. I have definitely said yes more often than no. And if that’s how you are wandering through life, you will most certain have the experience of taking a few punches. I know I have. They can be painful and they can be shameful. And they might stick with you until the very end.

How do we make our choices? By brain? By heart? By will power? By gut feeling?

Sense and sensibility. Reason and emotion. Brain and heart. For me, these are often in conflict. Sometimes so severe it’s tearing me apart.

And if it only was brain and heart. Then will power is entering. What’s will power? For me (I’m sure someone with more knowledge in this department would have a different explanation), often the same as heart. This is what I want! This is where my heart and soul is leading me! This is the road I need to take! This feels right!

Feels right? Now that’s an even more tricky advisor. Yes, something can feel really right, but hidden in under that feeling you might feel something totally contradictory, telling you the opposite. If I do this, which is a big yes right now, there is a huge risk it will lead to regret and pain, and nothing good will come out of it. And I’m not talking about shots of tequila here.

To me all these, which are supposed to lead us right, is a big tangled ball of yarn with lose ends I am pulling, trying to entangle. Sometimes I am finding the right end to pull, and the knot dissolves. But often the pull just makes it worse. If I was a child I might end up throwing the ball of yarn into a corner and in the best of worlds a grown up would pick it up and help solve the problem.

But I am not. I have to find a way myself. And not even as a child I threw the yarn away. 

In this time and age we are advised following our hearts. That hasn’t always been the case. A controlled sense I am sure has been more frequent through the human history. Following ones heart (in any sense, personally and professionally) must be a luxury condition only possible when economically independent and surrounding environment’s judgment can’t affect your daily life.

Being judged to your heart and soul is a different story. Universal and timeless.

Follow your heart. Such an alluring call. It sounds so easy. Like someone is waiving at you from a peaceful and sunny morning beach. Come come! Here is your haven. Everything will be fine. Just walk through the dawn dew grass and arrive here, safe and sound.

Following your heart is an act conducted by love. By passion. And passion and peace are most often incompatible. Whether the goal for your passion is a job, a person, a hobby, a place, an assignment, a life, it will not be a quiet walk in the dawn dew grass. Going for a passion is risky business. A lot at stake. The travel towards a passion is more likely to be rowing in dangerous waters and gusty winds for a tiny island far out in the ocean.

Listening to your brain might be a good thing. It is protecting yourself, which we absolutely need to do. But it’s also playing safe.

So, what is it that I will regret, when it is my time? Out of all the chances I have taken and the pain, suffering, regrets and lost dignity coming out of them? Thinking about them now, while writing, to my surprise I am finding, not much! At the time for the choice, it was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. At the end of the day I can’t regret the pain. Being alone on that stormy ocean fighting for my heart. Because I tried for something. I was courageous. I was me. I lived.

And is there anything at all I didn’t do that I will regret? Well, there was this man who I once loved, and I never told him. Classic. Would I do that again? Brain and heart. Reason and emotion. Sense and sensibility. I hope not. Because that’s dignity. That’s self respect. To stand up for your heart. What ever the outcome will be, pain and regret at the time. At the end of the day, I want to know I have put my heart out there. That’s where I want to be. That’s where I want to end.

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