I’ve often found myself in the midst of an inner struggle between what I my heart and mind. Time and time agian, there have been choices that have arrisen where both were in serious conflict and I needed to choose one or the other. I’m sure we’ve all had this experience.
What is the heart?
I feel that the heart is your deep down, inner desire. You know, the stuff you dream about . Your heart guides you to the things you can feel are needs, deep inside you – in your bones. It is your inner self. It helps you know the things you feel you ought, must, do.
What is the mind?
The mind is the part of us that identifies with our ego and this material world. The mind is the thing that usually helps us get from A to B in a normal day. But the mind can be a real bastard. Sometimes the mind can get you all caught up in negative “what if” scenarios. “What if I can’t find a job in that field?” “What if I get into a car accident?” “What if they don’t understand me?” “What if we break up?” “What if I don’t make any money doing that?” “What if nobody helps me?” “What if I fail?” “What if, what if, what if…”
So what’s the conflict? Oftentimes our minds can get in the way of our heart’s desires. It can prevent you from really following your dreams, doing the things you should do. It can make you a coward, lost in fear of the unknown.
I’ve had many experiences of cowardice. On one occasion I had a choice between something I felt was good and right deep inside versus what was “practical”, “reasonable”, “responsible”, and other such words my mind tricked me into believing. I went with the latter to my dismay, and it caused me to lose the girl of my dreams to fear of the unknown, siding with more practical options at the time.
But this was a valuable lesson in life and learning. It taught me something – when you trust something is right, deep inside you – it is. Trust that feeling. Trust yourself. Trust your heart. Trust your spirit, soul, or whatever you call it. Just trust it. If you feel like there’s something calling for you, but you’ve been puting it off for more practical reasons, I challenge you to take the risk – take that leap of faith.
I’ve since learned my lesson, and finally took that leap of faith myself. I’m now happily in a relationship with the girl of my dreams who got away – I just had to haul myself across the world to somewhere unfamiliar where they speak a language I have no idea how to speak – China. I gave up a good job, and other practical reasons to stay. But I had to take the leap of faith. I had to believe in my heart and follow it. If not, I would always have regret. I’d always be wondering “What if I’d taken that leap of faith.” And that “what if” was the one I couldn’t live with.
For the past several years, I have happily been following my heart and never regretted a moment. I rejected offers to law schools, have given up good job opportunities for work in the non-profit sector, traveled the world to be with the girl I love, and done numerous other things against otherwise “good” advice.
Following your heart can be difficult. Don’t let fear or negative thought patterns get in the way. Don’t let “what ifs” stop you from following your dreams. You can do it. Believe in yourself. Believe in your choice. Don’t let yourself have any regrets. Trust me, when following your heart, you won’t.