Profession: A declaration of belief.
Click here for Part 1.
On Lou’s blog, she replied to my comment on her post “Listen to your heart, you have the answers”:
Me: Thank you for this advice. You’re right: While listening to others is important, ultimately the choice to do or not to do something is up to you, so you’ve got to carefully consider what is best for you. But: Is it possible, after listening to peoples’ advice and getting what you want to get out of it, and following your heart, to still end up on the wrong path? The reason I ask that question is: No one is perfect. We all fall short to some extent. We can’t see where every path leads.
Lou: I don’t really believe there is ever a wrong path. I’m not a believer in mistakes either, every decision we make teaches us a lesson.
Me: That’s true: Every decision we make teaches us a lesson. So, in that way, there is no “wrong path.” I realize now that my question “Is it possible to end up on the wrong path?” stemmed from fear: Fear that I would come to a point in my life where it was no longer possible to learn from my mistakes — no longer possible to make right what I [had] gotten wrong. Thank you for replying to my comment.
The reason I would be afraid that “I would come to a point in my life where it was no longer possible to learn from my mistakes” is because, months ago, there was a time where I was considering suicide.
I was considering suicide because I realized that it wasn’t possible for me to follow my heart. It wasn’t possible to make my dream a reality.
I did end up following my heart in the sense that I came to the realization that suicide wasn’t the answer.
But, still: That brush with death left me doubting the notion of following one’s heart: The notion that “I just have to do what I believe is best for me, and everything will turn out OK.”
Because: What do you do when you realize you can’t do what you believe is best?
What I did is despair.
But, reaching out to others as a result of my despair, I learned an important truth from a loved one. When they learned that I had considered suicide, these were their words to me:
God doesn’t love you for what you do. For how much money you make, or books you write, movies you produce, people you influence, etc. God loves you for you. In terms of the world, Jesus’ life was a waste. He died at 33 a failure, penniless. God doesn’t measure our success by the standards of the world. We do that.
As I said in Part 1: Putting one’s faith in God doesn’t guarantee that you will live a life without struggle.
Which is why, when it comes to how to live one’s life:
On the one hand: I don’t want to say “Follow your heart,” because when you live for the fulfillment of your own desires, you could go to a dark place when you, one day, realize: I have a desire that I can’t fulfill.
On the other hand: I don’t want to say “Put all of your trust in God,” because if you are dependent on God for everything, like I felt I was when I emailed Lou, it can make you feel powerless. It can make you feel like you don’t have the means to improve your life. It can leave you stewing in your misery, waiting for a savior to do what that very same savior gave you the ability to do yourself: Make your life better.
What I’ve learned from what I’ve been through so far is:
I shouldn’t always follow my heart, but neither should I give up all the power that I do have.
What is necessary, as the TheOrginalPhoenix pointed out to me when she commented on Part 1, is balance:
Following my heart when I feel it is within my power to better myself, and baring all that I am to God when I, in my imperfection, fall short.
On a side note:
The desire to bare all is one reason why I believe that what Lou does, be naked in nature, is beautiful.
We were made to bare all — made to show all that is on the outside and the inside.
The man and his wife were both naked, and felt no shame. (Genesis 2:25)
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
Lou and I ultimately see the world from a different point of view. And I’m alright with that.
Because, in Lou, I see a desire for God. God just goes by another name.
Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky…question all these realities. All respond: “See, we are beautiful.”