Saturday, November 12, 2011

Misunderstood Intensity

Passion is something people rarely understand. It's sad in a way because it usually means one of the following unpleasant things: they're not passionate themselves, their passions come in extremely small doses, they have plenty of passion, but are terrified to express it.

Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect is that passion isn't an emotion. It's a level of intensity. Still people try to isolate it and use it to paint passionate people with the wrong brush.

You might see someone crying at a moment that seems only semi-emotional to you, you say she needs to get over it and call her a crybaby. You might see someone having a temper tantrum, you say she needs to relax and call her a bitch. You see someone jumping for joy, you say she needs to take it down a notch and call her a bimbo.

We love to capture, tag, and catalogue people's personalities by the small bits that we witness without considering the multitude of traits that makes up each and every individual. Often, the person who cries at the drop of a hat belly-laughs at the simplest joke. The person who throws a tantrum might be the first one to comfort a friend in need. The person who always seems overjoyed likely cries herself to sleep just as often as she smiles. Passion ain't Pop Tarts. It doesn't come in a variety pack.

Intensity makes fearful, lackluster people uncomfortable. As with most things in life, their discomfort comes from a source of envy. You see someone showing her heart, speaking her truth, and igniting her fire, and all you can do is criticize. Simple envy. You wish you had passion for a cause and the strength to show it, but you don't. It's much easier for you to convince yourself someone is wrong with her, that she is "out of line," that she is breaking social harmony, than to actualize that dull image in the mirror that you see every day.

Perhaps a passionate person might say or do things they don't mean in the heat of the moment, but she's human, right? We seem to deny passionate people the allowances that we afford everyone else.

"She's ALWAYS crying."
"She's ALWAYS throwing a fit."
"She's ALWAYS goofy."

Chances are, you've probably only seen her do those things two or three times, but you use it judge her. It comforts you to slap a label on her because it lets you stick her in the back of the pantry with the two year old fruit cake and the canned ham. If she's back there, you won't be confronted with your own lack of passion every time you want a snack. The only problem is that what's on the label isn't what's in the box and your label maker comes with cheap adhesive that doesn't stick very well....

Before you flee from anyone else's intensity, realize that you're going to die any minute and in my realm of being, that's the end. Look at your life as it is now. If you were to suffer a tragic accident right this very second, with your dying breath, would you regretfully cry knowing there was so much you wanted to do and say but didn't, or would you smile knowing that more than anyone else, you felt, experienced, and LIVED every second of your time here? Pin It

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