Just a couple months ago, I couldn’t check any of the above. Now, my face is wearing a big smile while going through this list and checking every one of them.
“Follow your heart,” most people would say when I share my dreams and frustrations. The human heart is such a delicate and vital organ that we cannot live without. And it governs our lives from the moment it composes its first beat. Unlike the mainstream culture, especially in the Asian culture, I do tend to follow my heart most of the time and choose the roads less traveled. Lately, I kept hearing myself share a part of my past when a simple material comfort was a luxury. It was a time of homelessness, in between jobs and being frugal at every meal. Yet, looking back, that was the most motivating and fulfilling part of my life. It struck me that I’ve been longing for that passion towards life where I lived every day to the fullest and looked forward to what tomorrow will bring. It was a time full of hopes and missions. A time when I followed my heart but somehow left it behind on my way to the conventional success.
Maybe it’s just me. But it seems the more I have, the less content I am and vice versa. This is probably due to that thing we call “greed.” It’s been several years since I had to worry about my next meal. And it has been similar number of years that I feel passionless. There are still many things I’d like to do and places I’d like to explore, though. But as I get older, my brain seems to take over the operation while the heart gets demoted to an assistant position. Maybe this is my heart’s protest; its asking for attention. There’s an urge I cannot explain. An unstoppable urge to change how I live my current life. But what do I change it into? The brain decides to go on a strike when I pay more attention to the heart. Would they ever sync and work together again like the good old days? Which do I listen to when they don’t agree with each other?
Lately, I’m been haunted by a new business idea a potential business partner proposed. We’ve been talking about working together for many years, and have tried out some projects. I must admit that I haven’t been the most consistent partner and constantly got distracted because I was afraid. As expected, almost all my friends suggested me against this new business proposal which cost more and is riskier on my part, based on my current conditions. Yet, like many other new ideas, I can’t help but think about the possibilities and opportunities behind the realistic stress and uncertainty.
Some say I’m pessimistic as I tend to see the worst outcome first. However, I do not deny possibilities and would usually take actions to test my theories if I can’t seem to turn my brain off the matter. Perhaps it’s my lack of persistence, poor skills or bad calculation. Looking back, it seems as if I tend to act out of impulse than reason most of the time. For a society that makes judgement based on outcomes, I do seem like a fool if I were to go into a business.
For the longest time, I try to make sense of the kind of life I want. The image is clearer and clearer each day. I can now list my strengths and weaknesses without having to think long. And I can now better describe the kind of lifestyle I long for, compared to just one year ago. This new business proposal haunts me because it somehow matches my dream to host travelers. The fear of failure and challenges it will follow; however, keeps my from moving forward.
Yes, I know it takes a lot of efforts and perseverance to start and run a business. And that wouldn’t be a problem if I’m doing something I love.
No, I don’t want to make a decision out of impulse or a mere desire to escape where I don’t want to be. Neither do I want to trap myself in debts before figuring out a way to generate reoccurring income.
Yes, this idea might get me where I want to be and even fulfill my dream.
No, I don’t want to run away from it simply because I’m afraid of failing and pressure.
Yes, I agree it is wise to take calculated risk and not make an impulsive move that might result in a lifelong consequence.
No, I don’t want to give in to physical comfort I have now and continue a life without passion.
Conclusion? Don’t have one at this point. But I decided to keep myself away from conventional expectations, desire to control everything and sheepish thinking. In fact, I’ve been on this experiment for a while and am quite surprised that I’m capable of staying calm when I have no clue what to expect from something or someone. Uncertainty used to drive me crazy. This is why I search for answers to my curiosity about God, something or someone that cannot be understood by my narrow human brain, yet constantly brings warmth to my heart.
As I always believe, what will be will be. If this is what I’m meant to do, I’ll eventually find ways to make it happen. Fear will not govern my life, and being pessimistic is not the solution. NO!
A couple days ago, I was able to catch up with a dear girlfriend online and had the best 2-hour chat across the globe. Our discussion went from family, business to boys. And then we spent quite some time on the topic of timing and expectation. Some of our conversations reminded me of Steve Job’s speech about connecting dots in our lives. It is amazing when I look back and realized how perfect the timing was, when the right people were directed to me when I am in need of strong spiritual support. Many of them are believers in God, which makes me wonder whether He is sending me a message that I’ve been too stubborn to understand.
With the holiday spirits floating around, even on this end of the world among various English-speaking communities, I’m truly thankful for everything given to me. All the opportunities and help that have been gradually presented to me makes me feel alive and hopeful again. It is a strange thing how religion can change one’s state of mind and choices in life. Perhaps it’s merely a great and relaxing weekend that I haven’t had for a long time. Yet, it feels like I seem to finally get a glimpse of that light I’ve been searching for in the tunnel. It’s still far away but at least more visible now. There are still fear and doubts in me. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to trust myself in Him this time around. And with my country tour packages finally launched, my life has moved a little closer to where I want to be. Speaking of timing and patience. Looking back, this blog along with many things and people that I’m grateful for now, would not have existed if everything has been rosy. I guess God knows how to get my attention and got me working!
The past week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. For a long time, I refer to myself as more spiritual than religious. Yet, of all religions, I’m most drawn to Christianity, though don’t really have good enough understanding of it or the Bible. Since a young age, I’ve been sent to churches for kids’ programs and Bible studies. There isn’t any Christian history in my family. Moreover, growing up in Taiwan, Christianity has never been the main stream of this society. Yet, I’ve always built great friendships and received heart warming hospitality from Christians wherever I go. Some recent life events have got me into a magnifying examination of my inner self. And out of the blue, I really wanted to read the Bible. So I did.
The Bible was a harsh read for me at a young age. Moreover, I’ve never thought religion is important for me. I’m still not eager to label myself as anything. But there’s an urging curiosity as to why I’ve been deeply attracted to something I don’t wholly understand and could not really be convinced by the words of its people. And that’s why I decided it’s time that I compile research before drawing any conclusion.
Since long ago, if I do pray, all I would pray for is a peace of mind. For me, anything is achievable as long as I’m able to stay emotionally strong and motivated. Self-help and inspirational readings are also the source of my motivation. However, I still haven’t been able to stay consistently active on moving towards my goals and often feel lost still. Lacking actions and self-directness are known as my weaknesses. It just seems that I’ve intellectually understand and accept most part of who I am. Yet, I constantly feel there must be a way more suitable for me to stop the cycle of self pitying, falling back to the same darkness and get temporarily intrigued to try something new which may or may not be finished. Something just keeps hanging in mid-air of my heart and I just need to make sense of it. Being an open minded person, I give everything a try.
When it comes to religion, I ask the same questions most agnostics or atheists do. Though I will not put any label on myself until my heart gets the answer it desires, I cannot help but admire how down to earth most of my Christian friends are. They too have many frustrations and doubts. Nevertheless, their strong faith seems to keep them going even in their darkest moments. What is that? Strong will? Individual perseverance? For once, I’d love to “truly” believe that everything will turn out the way it should be.
Since I started reading the Bible and made a mental promise to learn more about this “God,” I started feeling the calm that I’ve been praying for. Moreover, I started taking actions that move me closer towards where I’d like to be in the future. No, there’s no prove one has anything to do with the other. But for the first time in my life, I actually Want To learn more about this religion that I seem to find most of my blessings from throughout my life. Maybe it’s like what my friend said, that I already have all the signs and answers but simply refuse to believe. Or maybe I’ll find out that I was right not be believe this non sense. Whatever it is or will be, it has made my life easier to deal with so far.
There’s still along way to go. And I pray that this peace of mind stays within me and guides me through more dark hours that are yet to come.
The “benefit” of the doubt as we say, indicates the positive side of having doubts. Being cynical as I am, I tend not to believe or trust until seeing lots of visible results that support a theory to be real. This goes with how I deal with many different aspects of my life. Take religion for example, though most of my personal belief indicates one particular religion, I refuse to wear a label because I cannot bring myself to believe what I cannot see. Yet at the same time, I believe in the existence of God and many unseen and unexplainable sensations. Also, I do not always agree that one can only believe what one can see. After all, human knowledge can be limited. This doubtful mind of mine surely brings me benefits, while leading me to destruction at the same time.
Lately, I wonder real reason I doubt. Is it because not everything is what it seems? Or, do I do so to make myself believe that life is depressing and reality is cruel so that I’m emotionally more equipped to handle the downs of life. Today, a friend pointed out that I will not get any conclusion by running in this circle of suspicion. I’ve also once come to the conclusion that living in this world of vagueness is why religion survives. It does make me feel calmer and more certain while knowing there is a support that I’ll never be rejected from. This suspicion, nature to question and challenge; however, also pushed me away from many blessings. After all, the ability to believe in good without needing any conventional reasons that are convincing to a common mind, takes a lot of energy and a strong will.
Yet, I suppose, when in doubt, focus on our inner selves and do whatever is guaranteed to bring happiness to them. Really need to stop being a control freak and live for the moments of life. What’s meant to be, will be.
Just when I thought I had it all figured out, disappointment finds its way to me again. When will this search end? The search for a purpose and passion. My religious friends shared their mental certainty in God and how they stopped feeling the need to search once they understood and built their connections with God. Though I’m not an Atheist, I don’t know about putting all the hopes and faith in an external force. I’ve always tried to be self-sufficient whenever possible. It gets tiring sometimes and makes any external assistance looks that much heart-warming. However, at the same time, it bothers me to think that I have to depend on another connection for something to happen. Yet, this is the human world. We rely on different connections to operate the world we live in. When the professional world gets more and more independent and isolated, people try so hard to grab onto any social links to feel alive. Feeling stuck again for the links I tried to build seem to vanish again. No matter how many inspiring and encouraging articles I read to stay positive, I still can’t help but wonder….will this really be it? Will I ever find the way out?