Do you remember the scene where Neo (Keanu Reeves) was given the choice of taking the blue pill or the red one? Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) stared at our hero stone faced, giving no indication what he should do. The choice was either to wake up and discover the real truth of his life, or to wake and continue living a lie. I watched the movie a dozen times, thinking I would take the red pill that leads to the real truth; a possible new reality of adventure and opportunity. It is an obvious choice in my opinion, but one that leaves open a vulnerability to the devastation of disappointment. The choice to take the red pill has nothing to do with safety but everything to do with satisfaction. Taking the blue pill would lead back into a life of false dreams and illusions would seem like prison to me. Dwelling in a cage of complacency; a life that isn’t truly living existing with no possibility of challenges, goals to conquer or mountains to climb.
Last week I talked about change and made the daring statement that all change is good! I didn’t mean that the events of change are always good, but the experiential results we gain and grow from are inevitable. Everything changes whether we welcome change, or not. We have the choice to “take the blue or the red pill”, to accept the real truth of the transition and move forward, or to reverse our course refuting and fighting the evolution around us. There is also a third choice to choose neither right nor left but to simply stop moving and stay in the middle. Some will put life on pause, staying in a world of ambivalence, hoping life will work itself out without having to take risks or apply any conscious effort. I believe this choice to be the worst. It evades the gift God gave us to make decisions and turns us into victims of fate, begging endless questions - “If only this didn’t happen or that didn’t happen, things the situation would’ve ended up differently”; “if the job paid me more money”; “if I didn’t work so many hours; “if the wife was more loving.. The husband more faithful”; “if he was thinner or she was prettier…things would be so much better”. If only…
We sit in the aftermath of circumstances beyond our control and transfer our subjection to our surroundings into a feeble inability to choose. We were blessed with “free will”; the incredible right and responsibility installed at birth by our creator. We are capable of making foolish, selfish, ignorant, thoughtless decisions as well as decisions of strength, sacrifice, love, kindness, forgiveness and compassion. We have the option to be a hero, a villain or a victim; to play the cards we are dealt; to learn to cheat or quit the game of life altogether. But to quit living is to hide from change and challenges, to allow the muscles of our personality to atrophy, shriveling our strength and will to handle adversity. We exchange faith for fear, feeling anxiety when we encounter something new or different. We learn to be defensive with diversity, seeing opposing views and ideas as an attack on our insecure individuality. The river of flowing water in our soul is damned, preventing new revelations and experiences to flow freely through us, leaving a pond of stagnation full of regrets, outdated answers and perceptions from the past. We voluntarily put ourselves in a box where there are no real challenges or risks taken, starving our imagination from the lack of obstacles to overcome. We create a matrix out of our own insecurities, designing an alternate existence that denies the hard choices that come with acceptance of truth.
We are designed to make decisions right or wrong. If the path we choose is wrong, we can choose to learn from it or live with it. Our time on this planet is precious and limited. Why do we waste it denying we have a purpose? I understand that if we don’t believe we have a destiny it’s easier to watch the grass grow. If our life has no meaning what does it really matter? If we are walking, empty ‘beings’ of skin and bone, why bother having a dream or fighting to reach one? Why worry about salvation or redemption if our efforts and energy are pointless?
I know what I choose to believe about myself, my faith and my destination. The personal choice empowers me to act accordingly. I choose to live life to the fullest, learning to love my neighbor as I have learned to love myself. My path won’t be perfect, protected or painless, but I own this road as I race to a place I’ve never been before. We can make a difference if only we choose to make a decision. Don’t live in the ignorance of wondering what you could’ve been and where you could’ve gone. Take the Red pill. Accept the truth and truly begin living!