what are you passionate about?

The one thing I have always read about writing is that writers “write what they know”.  I know I don’t know much, but I know I use to write stories and poems, and I enjoyed it.  Somewhere along the way I lost it.

A good friend was visiting and asked me what my passion is. For the first time in my life I didnt have an answer. This troubles me. Inspired by his own passion and his skill to see the stories and passions in the lives of others I am setting off to rediscover passion in my life.

The logical first step is to visit my former passions, old loves long past, and see if a spark still exists.  Writing was one, and i am thoroughly enjoying this while i sit here in the bus terminal waiting to go home at the end of the day. What have I been passionate about? What is the difference between a passion and a hobby? Is passion a specific activity or a philosophy we hold onto? If we lead a passionate life do we love many things or are we driven by a single purpose? Can your passion and your purpose be different or are they always correlated to eachother? Can followi g your passion make you miserable?

That last question reverberates strongly in my mind like an echo in a dark cave. For a ti,e my passion was helping people change their lives with fitness and nutrition.  I was a personal trainer and made myself be a living example of a strong career focused mom. It was a passion that was slowly ruining my family by stealing all my time and energy to the point that my relationships became strained and disengaged, that financially we were struggling, and I was headed towards my own depressive distruction. I was in a bad relationship with my passion and like an abusive partner it controlled my life.

In Islam we have the concept of  “nafs” which is less the 7 deadly sins and more a range of behaviour that we should endeavor to control – so desire food but not to the point of gluttony. Do not be wasteful with your money but do not horde to the point of miserliness. I am beginning to consider passion a naf. Have passion, use it to drive you forward but do not be driven by it. You should always be holding the reins. Perhaps this is where the English phrase and warning about “unbridled passion” comes from. 

You should be incontrol of the reins so that the horse doesn’t run away with you. I think my horse ran off without me when I left the gate open after departing my decade spent in the fitness industry. Time to coax him back and then teach him who is in control.