|Sent on:||Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:36 PM|
The Pursuit of Your Passion��
Is there anything in your life you are passionate about? What is your passion? Are you sure it���s real passion? Passion is another of those concepts whose meaning has become grey at best, totally blurred at worst.
Most of us will learn to think passion is good. Some of us will come to believe that if you have no passion you have no life, and you might as well be dead. Others exhort us to find our passion in life and then to pursue that passion with a ���passion! And there are an increasing number who advise us to fill absolutely everything we do with ���a passion��� if we want to be successful. Few go on to say exactly what they mean by passion, and so the word passion tends to be loosely and vaguely mixed with a variety of concepts including love, anger, suffering, attachment and enthusiasm.
The most common meaning attributed to passion is ���a strong sexual desire���. In the classic ���love��� stories it is that heated moment, usually around midnight, when physical feelings and strong emotions take control in the name of ���making love���. Actually ���making love��� is, in itself, a misnomer, as love cannot be made, it already is! Which probably explains why this kind of ���passion��� is seldom love and more likely to be lust! Lust has been more accurately described as, ���the selfish pursuit of the fulfilment of a physical desire���. If we are to call lust passion, and lust is not love, then passion is not love. And if lust is just another addiction, then that means passion, if it is lust, is probably rather unhealthy.
Some confuse passion with anger. They justify their anger towards some perceived injustice as a demonstration of their passion, and they even say, ���Of course I���m angry, it���s because I am passionate about this issue, it shows how much I care���. But care is not anger, and to call anger passion is more likely to be a way of avoiding self-control because the presence of anger means there has been a loss of self control. So passion is not anger, anger is anger!
Similarly passion is often confused with attachment. Each weekend hundreds of thousands of people will go to watch ���my team���. They will call themselves ���passionate supporters���. They will say they love their team ���with a passion���. But once again this is not love, it is ���attachment��� to the team. Perhaps this is why there is ninety minutes worth of emotional turmoil followed by exhaustion! If passion is attachment then we are truly confused as attachment to anything including ���my team��� only induces tension and fear, worry and anxiety, that the team may lose. And passion is not fear, fear is fear.
In biblical times passion was confused with suffering. As a theological term, the Passions of Christ refer to his sufferings subsequent to the last supper and crucifixion. But is passion a form of suffering? Surely suffering is suffering and, at an emotional level, it will be based in some form of loss. All sadnesses and sufferings are precluded by some form of perceived loss. And whoever heard of passion meaning loss?
In all the above examples of possible meanings of passion there is one thing in common, passion is being perceived as an ���intense emotion born of desire or loss��� which sometimes turns into anger and what we call a ���crime of passion���. If not resolved or healed these emotions only expand and feed on themselves, ending in even further disappointment and sorrow.
If true passion is not physical stimulation, not anger and not emotional suffering, what is it? Beyond the physical and the emotional there is the spiritual. Perhaps we may find the real meaning of passion in the territory of spirit. The root meaning of enthusiasm lies in the Greek term ���entheos��� which describes the natural, unhindered energy of spirit. It means to be filled with the ���energy of God��� or divine energy. When our core energy, our spiritual energy, moves through us and out into the world in a natural, creative way, we experience and feel what is known as enthusiasm. We all know this experience. Think of a time when you were being creative. Notice your enthusiasm during the process. Notice your enthusiasm as you talk about your creative experience to others. And notice your enthusiasm to return to create some more. All artists know this kind of enthusiasm and it usually indicates they have found their ���passion���.
We are all artists as we all get to create our own lives. We do this by creating thoughts, decisions and building relationships with others. So why do so many of us lack enthusiasm in life, why the lack of ���a passion��� for living. Because we learn to miscreate! We learn to ���lust after��� something and develop a ���lust for��� something. And when such desires are not satisfied we generate anger and sorrow, and it���s these emotional miscreations that drain our energy and kill our enthusiasm. They destroy our ���passion for living���, and therefore our ability to participate fully in our own life.
As you can probably see, finding your passion in life, and therefore living enthusiastically, requires a degree of self-awareness and self-understanding not normally learned in most peoples lives. It means realising life is a creative process in itself, and that the energy required to fulfil that process is not an energy that is delivered to your door or to the sockets in your walls. It is an energy that comes from your heart, from the heart of the self, and it is in unlimited supply. When discovered you will know enthusiasm, you will be enthusiastic, and others will more likely see someone living their life ���with a consistent passion���.
Question: Which of the three road blocks mentioned above do you find drain your enthusiasm ��� the desire to be physically stimulated, an attack of the ���angries��� or the wallowing in the occasional suffering (poor me?)
Reflection: When was the last time you were genuinely and consistently passionate about something i.e. enthusiastic? Why do you think the enthusiasm has died if it has died?
Action: No matter what you do today, attempt to be enthusiastic before you start and during the process. Then stop, reflect and see what came in the way of your enthusiasm.
�� Mike George 2009��
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