I consider myself a passionate person. I have lots of opinions and get fired up easily. I tend towards extremes and express an expansive range of emotions on a daily basis.
Living your passion can be quite lovely. But if you can’t identify it, if you can’t identify yourself, or if you just don’t have the energy — living your passion can also be intimidating and burdensome.
I can confidently recognize activities and causes about which I care a great deal, but my life is not stripped of direction if I am not constantly engaged in them. In fact, in this season, I would prefer to not be preoccupied by passion. It sounds heavy and exhausting.
Lately, instead of: “What are you passionate about?” I prefer a question that’s more sustainable for my everyday life: “What are you curious about?”
Passion asks, “For what cause will you die? What keeps your soul awake at night? What battle will you fight until the very end?”
Curiosity asks, “What are you interested in right now? Maybe not tomorrow, but just in this moment?”
I learn a lot from watching my one-year-old discover the world. He may hate blackberries for the next month, but in this moment, he loves them and wants to devour a dozen all at once. I want to embrace life with such eagerness, and not worry if things will change tomorrow — because inevitably they will.
My toddler doesn’t need to submit to one life path now (or ever). If Atlas develops a clear passion, he will go after it, for is that not what a passion is — an extravagant conviction that compels you to follow? I want to foster his interests, but I don’t want him to be overwhelmed by the pressure to commit to them, as I felt for years.
I used to be obsessed with purpose, obsessed with passion. I wanted so badly to live right, with unwavering zeal and determination. But out of fear and disconnection with myself, I hardly lived at all.
Now, I am motivated less by ambition, and more by gratitude and wonder. I am not naturally a curious person, but staying in this moment — not tomorrow, but just in this moment — is exactly what I need.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are you living your passion? How did you identify it? What motivates you? What are you curious about today? What reflective question is most helpful to you in this season?
Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic
Photo credit: Taryn Kimberly Photography