As I searched for a definition of passion to begin today’s reflection, I found this article that made me stop and reconsider it from a different angle: The Real Meaning of Passion. (It’s short and worth the quick read if you’d like a little surge of inspiration.)
In this article the author refers to the original definition…the willingness to suffer for something you love. At first, when I saw this definition, I discarded it as the more negative and leaned toward the more positive sounding “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.”
This article posits the question: What are you willing to give up to have the things you really want? And what do you really want?
Look at your life and highlight the things you love that you’re willing to suffer for. This self-reflection will give you insight into what you’re passionate about. If you’re not sure, just pick something you enjoy and see if you’re willing to give up other activities to spend more time on it.
What am I willing to suffer for? Quite honestly? Love. My family. My friends. People I care about. A sense of meaningfulness and purpose. Creative expression. A sense of peace. The right to read and learn. Freedom.
I already calendar differently than I used to. A few years ago I read The Desire Map and started coming up with my “core desired feelings.” That book encourages us to schedule our lives to feel the way we want to feel, rather than doing things simply because they “must be done.” Letting our feelings guide us rather than the “shoulds.” I guess it’s sort of like the concept in that Marie Kondo book…asking yourself “does this bring me joy?” as you clean out your spice cabinet.
This activity could be reduced to that, or a sad parody of that.
But I paired it with a few other concepts that have been around awhile: 1. The Be-Do-Have theory (from 7 Habits of Highly Successful People). 2. My own “have to,” “want to,” “need to” balancing act.
Obviously, I can’t give up everything for my passions. And if all I did was live in the world of passion and intense emotion, I’d wear myself out, drive myself mad, and probably start taking those things for granted, anyway.
It’s about balance.
But it’s also about prioritizing.
For example….I am passionate about my work. But my marriage and family are more important, and I am more passionate about them. I am NOT passionate about laundry or cleaning toilets or grocery shopping, BUT, I HAVE to do those things. So…balance.
I had no idea that defining passion was going to lead me down this rabbit hole.
And quite honestly, as a welcome to February, the month of “love,” I was anticipating something spicier…and more sexy in relation to passion.
Upon reflection, I think it is a matter of terminology. Passion doesn’t mean what many of us a presume that it does. Or maybe, really, it means MORE than what we often think of it as. Passion is not overtly sexual, though we can have a passionate relationship….a passionate encounter…passionate feelings for a lover.
Maybe that’s where I need to head with this next….