What do you believe in? What do you REALLY believe in? It’s a tough question when you stop to think about it. There are so many things to consider. What is real and what isn’t? What does common sense dictate and what is my gut feeling? Perhaps it’s religion, perhaps it’s life experiences, or perhaps it’s something only you can understand. Nevertheless, I believe everyone has a personal belief structure. A set of absolute truths by which they live and govern their lives.
Now I will be the first to tell you that moral and ethical compasses are not exactly the same things. However, a certain sense of morality does dictate the belief structure we chose to establish in our lives. I am one of those people who believes that everything happens for a reason. That fate and circumstance come together every second and thus determine the course of our lives. That’s not to say we are slaves to chance. Quite the contrary, fate is a circumstance of our decisions … a by-product of our choices. And sometimes those choices can be spectacular, and sometimes they can be spectacularly awful.
The trick is making a choice in the first place. All too often we are paralyzed with fear, or even worse, over-analysis of a particular situation. We’d rather play it safe and not take the risk. Believe me when I tell you that taking risk is counter to my conservative nature, but I have learned that life is in the risk. Life is in the not knowing what will happen. Life is in the uncertainty of consequences. Life is believing in something you would not normally believe in. How many games have been lost because the coach switched to a prevent defense? How many scoring opportunities were squandered by not sending the runner from first? Sure, you may get caught stealing .. but life is in the jump off the bag and giving it your all.
Now, I am not advocating reckless decision making, and I believe in minimizing risk where possible. But my point is that we live in a world where the brain governs the decision and the heart must be content with the result. Sometimes listening to your heart, no matter how difficult or illogical, is the right thing to do. It’s acting on faith and not just on figures. It’s taking a leap and hoping for the best.
Of course, leave it to Sister Hazel to summarize it best: “If I throw myself over the edge/And if I find myself in over my head/If I shatter from the fall and I lose/I’d still want to swan dive into you.” Here’s hoping that when you are faced with a conflict between your brain and your heart, between what makes sense and what feels right…. that you allow yourself to swan dive, because that’s where life is.