one word: passion
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions. — Alfred Lord Tennyson
I don’t know if it’s possible to know exactly and truly what others think of you, for people will always temper their words by the expected reaction (both good and bad), but I have always hoped that people who meet me recognize one specific thing: that I am passionate. Since adolescence I have known that I possess an addictive personality, and as I’ve tried to balance my obsessions for maximum quality of life, I’ve learned to view many of my interests as “passions.” And I have a lot of them, from superficial to familial and everything in between. But I embrace my passions because they make up such a distinct part of my personality. Very quickly in conversations I will mention either my niece and nephews or my love of movies. Anyone who has ever known me will no doubt agree that these two passions are the most obvious. I used to say reading was a passion, but as my number of completed books continues to dwindle year after year, I don’t think I can continue saying that. [I still see reading as a privilege, though, since literacy is such a blessing and gift in this world, so I’d love to restore that passion if only to keep from being ungrateful.] When I was a teenager, in the ’80s, music was my passion; I wonder now if that was partly an attempt to find independence from my parents or whether I was truly in love with the music I embraced. One thing I do know: I can’t call it “passion” if I don’t feel it in my bones, if it doesn’t rock me to the core.
I’m developing new interests all the time, but I’m learning to be very selective about my passions. At the end of my life I want to be known for very specific things, and if I am going to spend my time focused on all these passions, I want to be sure they add up to more than just the sum of parts. I want to be a woman of excellence, and I’m so thankful that God has a different scale than the people of this world. I want to love without reservation, and I want the people that I love to know that I love them. I don’t want to leave a single doubt in their minds. And I want to be loved in return, I suppose, but only for the woman that God is teaching me to become and not as the struggling damsel I often seem to be. I want to share the Hope of an eternal future in Jesus Christ, and I want that to be my primary purpose in life. I want to feel as passionate about the man on the street corner struggling to survive the day as I do about the characters in created worlds and images. These are the passions that will change my life, and they are the only ones worth investing my time. What I love so much about my God is that He, too, is passionate. His passion is beyond anything we could ever begin to comprehend, and He feels that way about me. If I can develop just an inkling of that same passion for the people that I meet in my days, then I’ll know this life has not been wasted. And maybe, just maybe, people will remember me as a passionate (and compassionate) individual with a heart that just couldn’t contain it.
This post was derived from the list of inspiration words gathered on Ali Edwards’s blog and from the concept of writing about one word.