We long to live passionate lives. There is a mega-industry that cranks out nothing but juicy bodice-ripping novels, soap operas, and larger-than-life celebrities who entice us with the imaginary possibilities of a lifestyle that is completely unfettered by propriety, budgeting or compromise.
As Sarah Ban Breathnach aptly describes it, “Passion, after all, means the abandonment of reason in the reckless pursuit of pleasure: rushing off with an Argentine polo-playing paramour instead of picking up the afternoon carpool.
“Passion is wild, chaotic, unpredictable. Permissive. Excessive. Obsessive. Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Passionate women can’t help but exult in their emotions, revel in their desires, howl at the Moon, act out their fantasies, boil a pet rabbit.”
But where does that leave the rest of us? Mostly in rush hour traffic and dentists’ offices and staff meetings, changing diapers, washing dishes, balancing checkbooks, changing the oil in our cars, cleaning out the litter box. So much for hopping into our private jet and basking on the sands of Fiji with a gorgeous, slightly dangerous stranger.
What is passion, anyway? It has been described as that burning fire that infuses all that lives. It is the pulsating, insistent beating of desire; it is what drives our actions, our will, our pleasure. It may be the thing that reveals, more than words or the various masks that we wear in the world, who we are.
“Actions speak louder than words,” goes the old saying, and this is so true. For, ultimately, it is by what we do, and how we live, that we are truly known. And what we long for, is to live with passion.
But how can we let passion shape our lives and still hold down a job, be good parents, and live a fairly normal existence?
To begin to answer that, today you might spend a little time meditating about the times in your life you have been the most passionate. What were the catalysts? How long has it been since you felt like that? What fires you now?
Welcome, passionate Summertime!