When I think of passion the thought of artistry or craftsmanship often enters my mind. After all, artists (of all kinds) are often considered the most passionate people around, and I initially coupled this idea of “passion” with something like a tenacious drive to succeed or create.
Earlier this week I was contemplating this notion, and I concluded that I didn’t really have a solid idea of what passion really is. I was having trouble putting my thoughts into words, and when this happens I generally find myself making a run for the dictionary.
While I did see some definitions that involved enthusiasm or romanticism as a main theme, I was surprised to find the following definition at the top of the list in regard to passion:
“A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.”
The idea that passion could be linked to any strong emotion was a new concept to me. As I began to consider it, it became clear; what is my life experience, but the amalgam of powerful emotions?
I am someone who can be, admittedly, a person who can be hard to compromise with. I know that a lot of that comes from the fact that I have strong feelings attached to everything I do, and because of bipolar disorder (or whatever it is that inherently contributes to the depth of my emotions) that passion can quickly overshadow the shrugs and indifference of the people around me.
I also know that this passion is something that draws many people to me, particularly those that also experience big or powerful emotions themselves. Frankly, it can be difficult for me to understand the motivation of people who don’t seem to care about much, and when I am surrounded by passionate people I feel the most at home.
While I don’t want it to sound like passion is limited to those who have bipolar disorder, I think we simply experience those big emotions much more frequently than the “average” person (average here used in more the mathematical sense than a dictation of social standing). Frankly, the disorder itself it based on the fact that we do.
Of all the words I could possibly use to describe my emotional states (many having negative connotations) I think it is important to level the linguistic playing field from time to time and remind people that the attitudes we use to describe our lives have a big impact on overall social acceptance. At the same time, I find it extremely important to remind myself that the thing I keep trying to silence has truly contributed to an interesting life.
I hope that if you take nothing else away from this post, you will take away a short and sweet reminder this Friday:
Through all the ups and downs, there is one constant: your life is one of passion!