Jodi Hills describes PASSION perfectly to me with this incredible sentiment. Type in PASSION into a google image search. Why kissing is always described with passion is something I’ll never understand. You can kiss someone with enough passion to create smoldering fires, but PASSION doesn’t exist merely for bodies, or mouths.
Passion is a choice. It is the distinct ability to move towards our wants and goals with an equal amount of wanton lust for personal achievement and careless abandonment to what the rest of the world has to say. In each seminar I give or presentation I host, I always use a quote from Joss Whedon, who really describes passion best:
“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.”
Asking me what I’m passionate about is a bit like asking me what I am in love with. My passions fall into multiple categories. I have the great loves of my life, (my family, goals and empowering the world around me,) then I have the moments of grace that hit when I’m driving down the highway and the sun warms my face with the clouds in perfect alignment: moments of tremendous passion for everyday life.
In trying to narrow down our passions, we need to remember that as mindsets change and muscles grow, our passions go through the same transitions just like a normal relationship. Long ago, I started thinking of passions as a relationship to myself. Good relationships need nurturing, patience to grow and divine inspiration that only comes from cherry coke at 2am. When our passions are allowed to flourish, we begin to orientate goals around ideas and suddenly: It’s not a mere activity, systematic way of thinking or item, these passions become a deeper part of who truly we are.
I find it hard to nurture each moment of passion or creativity. When I started evaluating my passions as relationships, I was able to prioritize their power in my life and the outside world. Passions are so much like the stages of love:
- Agápe (αγάπη agápē) means “love” in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“.
- Storge (στοργή storgē) means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection.
- Philia (φιλία philía) means friendship in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
- Éros (έρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eroscan be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship.
Grandmaster of wisdom, CS Lewis, also describes the 4 loves, (from need-love to gift-love and beyond,) that show the true complexity of how our hearts align with other beings, ideas and passions. How we treat our passions in their classification, will determine their importance and success. Our heart is drawn to what we believe in for a reason, but it’s our determination that guides a passion to a successfully completed goal. Agápe passions fuel our existence and like a bank, they are equally withdrawn and deposited into other people or situations. These passions, (in the hierarchy.) are often the most fruitful and fulfilling.
So, ask me again: What am I passionate about? This moment I might answer that I have Agápe passion for a certain preschooler that is snoring quietly in the other room. This passion also describes my utter admiration for the written word and capturing the stories of others. My Storge passion isn’t my child, (because I love her so fully,) but describes perfectly other relationships in my inner circle or social circle. My Éros passion, (the lust) is for sleeping in. (There no better feeling than smiling at my clock at 8am and knowing I can sleep a bit longer.) The Philia passion is what I feel for my clients, my community and a distinct contentment that arises when I have a fantastic meal or I taste ice cream on my tongue.
My passion is loving fully and deeply, with each situation, individual or belief.