I watched the Kingdom of Heaven on New Year's Eve--an inspiring way to step into the new year. Although the main character Balian struggles with self doubt concerning his faith, in many ways he embodies the very essence of what it means to believe. He sees. He chooses. He acts. He lives an integral life; there is no disparity between what he professes and what he does. He is true in that way. He is not fooling himself.
This is not common. We all profess to believe many things; to care about many things. But how we live tells the tale. Our daily life is the canvas upon which our most holy creed is written, choice by choice, action by action. Everyone, ultimately, lives what they believe.
I've become increasingly aware of late of the difference between dreaming something, and believing it. A dream may let you taste a thing, and know it in the way one "knows" a meal before he eats it. It's experienced in the realm of imagination, anticipation and desire. But it is not yet believed because it is not lived--enacted, integrated, chosen--out here in the real world of tears and sweat. It's why fantasy video games and online virtual worlds are so appealing. Users can freely dream themselves to be something without the annoying requirement of having to actually risk and fail and bleed and grow in real life. This sort of dreaming is a little like porn: A fantasy that keeps you from experiencing the real thing.
But when a thing becomes real, it becomes about you, here, now...about how you live your life, what you actually do to embody your belief, each day, not just what you imagine to be true. You become the belief, and it becomes you.
If someone examined your daily routine for one week, what would they say you truly believed about life?
(If you see the movie, choose the Director's Cut. That's the story as it was meant to be told.)