When I came back to publishing I joined a writer’s community, they instructed me to start with an article about something I’m passionate about.
I went blank. I thought; I got nothin, how can that be? Is it age, too much disappointment, have the practicalities of living dampened my enthusiasm for life?
I enjoy a lot of activities: reading, cooking, hanging with my dogs, walking barefoot, watching clouds. But, enjoyment is not passion.
I tried to recall what I’ve been truly passionate about. Dancing. I danced 5 days a week, deep in the night to early morning, slept, went to work, and did it again, for years. I remember walking out to the parking lot of the club I’d danced at all night, exhausted in the most blissful way, thinking this is the best feeling I’ve ever had. It’s better than sex. I want to do this forever!
But I didn’t. I moved away from the city and became a farmer. Pretty much the polar opposite of being a salsa dancer.
I was passionate about caring for our farm animals or devoted a least. I have been devoted to many pursuits: writing, my marriage, cheese making.
What’s the difference between devotion and passion?
Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion.
Devotion: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.
Passion is like the infatuation period of a relationship, the most highly valued phase for many. The feeling we’re supposed to strive for, keep alive, and feel something is missing when it fades.
Devotion is where the work is, the practice, the rigor. The hard part. I have had passions, they all passed away. The devotions stayed. They’re less sexy. Not as enviable: avid reading, making beautiful food for the people I love, creating gorgeous cheese. Such devotions are my foundation in this world. It’s a nice sentiment, but what does it mean?
I have returned to writing something other than a journal, and I want it to be my livelihood. It’s felt like an overwhelming goal. But when I write, it feels simple. I have always written; I will always write, I am devoted. The reasons change, the amount of time spent fluctuates. But, I cannot, not do it. Writing for me is also, strong and barely controllable.
Now I see: Passion + Devotion = Purpose. Is it age, perhaps a twinkle of wisdom? Purpose feels better than Passion.
What do you think? Do you agree with the above equation? Care to share a devotion, a passion, your purpose?
Your qualified definition is so true for me. I am discussing it now with my adult EFL students. Purpose for me is “Love is letting go of fear”.
Hmmm, that’s interesting Margie. So, the purpose is to love then?