Monday, August 31, 2009

P is for Passion

Those who control their passions do so because their passions are weak enough to be controlled. –William Blake

Passion, according to Webster’s dictionary, is an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. I am passionate about a great many things in life. It seems, as far back as I can remember, that my life has been a series of passionate events. I fall madly, deeply in love with an idea, an activity, an art form almost instantaneously. And from there, I become fully and completely wrapped up in this new passion of mine.

This is a good thing in my eyes, because it just means that I’m living life fully. I jump in, headfirst, and truly experience each moment.

The beauty of my passionate life style is that as I uncover each new love affair, I don’t lose the appreciation for the former object of my affection. I just make room on the shelf for the new one, right next to my ever growing collection of passions.

As the shelf gets fuller, it becomes brighter, more colorful, completely interesting in its eclectic and random mix.

And I too, become a better person for it.

The more passions and desires one has, the more ways one has of being happy. – Charlotte-Catherine

There is, however a downside to this abundance of passion. I’m never able to fully hold on to any one thing and give it my undivided attention. Were I limited to one passion alone, perhaps my urgent desire to write, then I might be able to finish my forever “work in progress”.

But then, were I limited to just that one passion alone, what then would I do with that fervor once that work was complete?

I would not fully be me if I didn’t become easily distracted by the need to grab my camera and take a photograph of the way the light hits that building just so. If the desire to help our youth find a place in this world wasn’t constantly gnawing at me would I have become a “big sister” to Lil’ K all those years ago, and would I now be able to see her a mature, intelligent, confident 16 year old ready to take on the world herself?

How could I then exist if I had neglected that call to follow my passions where they wanted to lead me?

Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things. – Denis Diderot

I find myself at times chastising myself for caring too much, for becoming too involved emotionally with everything and everyone I touch in life. I wonder if I am weak, allowing myself to shed tears for complete strangers. I debate if maybe I want too much, and am therefore unable to do much of anything.

But then, it hits me, unexpectedly, that I’m doing everything right. Because it isn’t that I have many passions in life, exactly, but that I am fully passionate about life. And that can’t possibly be wrong, can it?

What are you passionate about?

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