Should we ‘follow our passion’? Should we ‘bring passion’ to everything we do? Where does this idea of passion fit into our experience of and creation of joy?
I find myself caught between these two positions, not sure which is the truer path or whether there is a middle way.
My experience and observation suggest that, in ‘following our passion’, there can be great satisfaction, richness and intensity; however, this may also be seductive. That very intensity can become one more addictive ‘high’, increasingly compulsive and often ego-driven.
Instead of leading us to fulfilment, our talents and passions may thus easily become our curse. I know that sometimes, when I face in this direction, I become caught up in a sense of being ‘driven’ to achieve an end. I am not convinced that this ultimately leads me towards peace or joy. Perhaps there is a fine line between passion and obsession. One’s passions can bring one utterly into the moment, yet they can also become the stuff of illusion, drawing us to some elusive ‘goal’ that deflects us from experiencing the now.
Maybe it really is the case that it’s not what you do but the way that you do it that matters. I am beginning to realise that I find it much simpler to remain grounded and non-attached when I am not over-invested in what I do. Instead, if I try to bring my passion for life and sense of joy to the task in hand, whatever it may be, to imbue it with all the dimensions that my experience allows me to bring to it, I seem to find a rich vein of transformation. The focus is not on the doing, but on the ‘being within the doing’. Flow and engagement are essentially qualities of being, not of achievement.
Perhaps passion, in this context, is essentially a quality of authenticity, which itself must be built on a clarity as to one’s sense of meaning or higher purpose.
[to be continued]