On the necessity of passion and purpose


white horse playing

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ~ G.K.Chesterton

So here I am…calm and serene, quite glad to finally be in a peaceful and quiet place within myself. There’s no pushing anything, fighting anything, and no attachment to an outcome. Beautiful!

And then I read the last post to my son. He tells me it was ok, but nowhere near as “feel-full” as the real ones.

“What do you mean the real ones!” I’m thinking to myself. He laughs at the word feel-full he just made up. I’m not amused. Usually he’s so enthusiastic about what I write. I ask him what’s missing. He stands in the doorway, sipping his coffee and says “That passion mom…you know, when you fight for something and pour all your heart and soul into it! The real you!”

Great. I write one post as a calm, rational observer and my own child yawns. I rush to check with a trusted friend. She tells me: “It was a good post, don’t think it’s not ok.” Then she laughs when I tell her about absence of “feel-full-ness”.

Ok? OK?!?!? Damn it. My posts are not supposed to be ok! Or barely feel-full!

Then again, what did I expect. From a place of peace and detachment, you don’t exactly set out to move mountains with fiery passion and purpose. You look at the mountain, you smile at the mountain, you accept the mountain. I thought being all calm and composed was a great thing…but there’s a problem.

What everyone looks for, what I look for, is that Arwen-like spirited girl…not an impartial observer sharing some observations. But wait a minute…she’s been told enough times that she tries too hard, that she often intimidates with her passion and intensity, that she needs to be more cautious and detached. The moment she follows advice everyone’s yawning?

I suppose she got tired of ending up in the arena alone. Too many of those she fights for in her personal and professional life seem to have some excuse not to participate…too tired, too busy, too scared, not ready. They go out and do other things. So why should she fight on their behalf and in their absence? If they don’t care, to hell with them.

She also got tired of being criticized and pushed away for her best qualities…of having the gifts she offered either thrown back at her or tossed away in the trash because they are too good, too precious, too much responsibility to live up to. What nonsense is that? No more gifts.

She got tired of judgments. She did not fight out of selfishness or neediness, but because she cared deeply and often valued the wellness of another more so than her own wellness or income. Sure, like anyone, she wanted to be loved and included, to progress. But she never came empty-handed or asked for a free ride.

No wonder she doesn’t seem interested in fighting demons for the sake of some soul at the gates of hell right now. Light and wisdom are out there, all anyone needs to do is reach out and grab them. On their own. It’s up to each one of us to choose. Whoever doesn’t want to look, follow the heart or do the work, it’s their problem, not hers. She’s done more than her share, and hit enough brick walls. Time to let go and let God as the saying goes.

I’m not sure I want to bring her back…but who am I without her? I’m not a passive observer, but a spirited, crazy girl. It’s not in me to ignore something because it’s too hard, too dangerous, might look like a hopeless cause, might not be worth the effort or risk…or because I’m not getting paid. I jump in regardless and fight for what I believe in and know is right. Like everyone else, I make mistakes, and fall flat on my face. But I get up, no matter how badly shaken or bruised, and keep on going. I lift that sword even if my arm is about to fall off. I never stay down and I never walk away from a challenge without trying.

Yes, I am stubborn like that.

Oh who am I kidding. Ode to myself aside (and a grand ode at that!), no matter how tired I am of being the coach, the warrior, the writer and the quicker-picker-upper, I can’t live without that fiery passion and purpose…at least enough of it so as to prevent my life and my writing from making my own son yawn.

Besides, it’s so necessary, isn’t it? If we can’t be who we are because we get hurt, end up unappreciated or else fear being misjudged, what do we have left? A sad little life of resignation? The reward is in the work itself. And the work needs passion and purpose, otherwise it’s not worth it.

“The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last.” ~ Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

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