fire moves through me.
My heart feels full and aches with longing.
I am alive.
I am at choice, I have no choice, I dance.
The point is to dance –not to have a story, a face, a reason…
Just to be.
Thankfully, absent of reason.
Consumed in a passionate embrace with the divine.
– Kate Siner
There is a life that is possible to all of us where we passionately engage with the world around us. Most of us glimpse this world through poetry and art, through beautiful and transient love affairs with people or aspects of life, or in moments of divine inspiration.
Passion is something many people crave, and many people feel is missing from their lives. But if this is true, that we desire more passion in our lives, what is it that holds us back?
Quite simply, passion is not a predictable and gentle companion. It makes sense that we both crave and fear her embrace.
Most often, like in the case of love, we are seeking a one-sided experience of passion. We wish to have transcendent moments of bliss; but not the gut wrenching feelings of brokenness and despair. We want rapture, not disillusionment.
But to feel intensely, is to feel everything.
A shadow side of passion is being drawn by our intense emotions into something that is not good for us, and most of us have experienced this. So we, from fear, try to invite her in on our own terms -with well laid ground rules and a bit of hesitation.
We tell her that we want her, but she knows that we are playing and goes about entertaining herself elsewhere. Or we tell ourselves we are playing and she sees the sincerity in the jest, and takes us for the ride of a lifetime. Either way, we are not in charge.
One definition of passion is to feel compelled by something larger than ourselves, to live, act, or be in a specific way. To be passionate in a relationship might draw us into the relationship despite our resistances. To be passionate in work might be to commit our time and effort into crafting and developing what we do in the world- beyond what we thought was possible.
Despite the risks involved to feel passionate, it is its own reward. We feel alive and connected as we fill with inspiration and devotion. In developing our own artfulness in walking the razor’s edge of passion, we become more exquisitely attuned to the benefits and perils of the path. And, it is this heightened state of awareness that is one gift of the passionate life.
To experience the power of these emotional states, we benefit from learning when the price is too high for us. To know when our passion requires moderation and then how to effectively disconnect our struggles from a predictive narrative that leaves us living a passionately impoverished life.
These two skills require a lifetime of refinement, and we often get lost in the process.
Passion seduces us through inspiration. It is what we naturally love and are drawn to that lures us in and asks for our time and attention. If we want more passion in our lives we need to pay attention to what, or who is calling us. In some cases our attention will be called, but once given, will leave us feeling flat. Other times what calls to us, will light up inside. It is through the latter that she is beckoning.
As we feel the fire of passion ignite inside of us, we can honor it through our devotion. This is the time, care, and attention we give the bastions of passion in our life –a desiring gaze to our lover, a daily prayer to our spiritual roots, or training to advance a skill.
Our acts of devotion let her know we are truly interested. It is the expression of our passion through our devotion that results in art, work, and love affairs that further create inspiration for ourselves and others. While passion might not always be an easy companion, she is generous.
Passion is the creative fuel that makes life extraordinary because of her wild, intense, and unpredictable nature. When you invite her into your life expect her to test your sincerity, and push you beyond your limits. Know that this is both her gift and her challenge for you.
My prayer is that you have the courage to ask passion into your life and the wisdom to show her your sincere interest so that she blossoms in your life.