To feel is to live

Some tell us to follow our heart. “The truth lies beneath” – they say. But what do we do if the destination of our heart is foreign to us? Where do we go then? Others say that the brain should be the one in the driver’s seat. They say that feelings are the cause of our destruction. Let’s put it like this.

You are stuck on a rock, alone, forced to make a decision. Surrounded by dead ends. Water on one side. Wild waves splashing, almost touching you, trying to lure you in the depths and mysteries of the unknown. It looks unreal, right. How can the one thing that gives life, end it all. You think to yourself- “Maybe I won’t reach the bottom, maybe I’ll drown on the way there”, then a thought passes – “But what if I only stay on the surface, what if I miss on everything waiting for me below”? All these what if’s… How can we be satisfied and pleased knowing that we missed the chance to have something? How can we live with ourselves knowing that an opportunity was so close to us, but we turned around? How do we sleep at night with that feeling that something rightfully ours is still somewhere waiting for us and we are doing nothing to claim it?

You turn and catch a glimpse of the raging fire. Powerful flames reaching your feet. Pleasing warmth that can turn to agonizing pain within seconds. You look down and there is nothing more to see. As far as you can see, those familiar flames are intertwining with each other. You know the outcome, you get hurt, so you don’t entertain this idea. You are tempted but the rational thing to do is to turn it down. Right?

You see, there are two guides we can choose to follow. The heart, peaceful and familiar surface, safe choice, an easy one. It’s as if the outcome is presented to us in a way that we can understand, a way that allows us to predict how that part of the story ends. Is it a tragedy or a comedy. As we go more in-depth, our mind gets hazy, the paths we can take all start to look alike. The end is there, but we fail to know it. Finally, there is the bottom. The open book. The risk. The option we want but fear, that we seek but run away from, that can be the healer and the killer. Then there is the brain, no matter how open the mind is, no matter the different views you have, you can see the finishing line, the destination, so you choose. If you know that it won’t hurt you, you go for it and if you don’t, well then you run. The only flaw here is that you are missing out on the fun, the unknown, the shock factor.

The brain is a beautiful thing, it will never harm us, but it keeps us from experiencing it all. The safe trail is not always the right one. We are given a heart so we can feel, so we can love, so we can hurt. If we weren’t supposed to take risks, live in the moment and explore the choices that scare us and might leave us broken, we would know the end from the moment we were born. Have you truly lived if you didn’t love? Have you truly loved if you didn’t get hurt? By reacting with the brain, we exist. By choosing with the heart, we live.

Ana-Marija Pejchinovska

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