When we talk about living with passion, what exactly do we mean?
I suppose that people who live with passion start out with an especially intense desire to complete themselves. We are the only animals who are naturally unfinished. We need to bring ourselves to fulfillment.
Some people are seized with this task with a fierce longing. They may be propelled by wounds that need urgent healing or by a fear of loneliness. They may be driven by some glorious fantasy to make a mark on the world.
People who live with passion construct themselves inwardly by expressing themselves outwardly, and in doing so they bring coherence to the scattered impulses we are all born with. By doing some outward activity they come to understand and define themselves. A life of passion happens when an emotional nature meets a consuming vocation.
They have high levels of both vulnerability and courage. To be emotional is to attach yourself to something you value supremely but don’t fully control. To be passionate is to put yourself in danger.
Living with this danger requires a courage that takes two forms:
Firstly, people with passion have the courage to dig down and play with their issues. We all have certain core concerns and tender spots that preoccupy us through life. Passionate people often discover themselves through play, using their imagination to open up possibilities and understand their emotional histories.
Secondly, passionate people have the courage to be themselves with abandon. While we all care what others think about us, people with passion are just less willing to be ruled by the tyranny of public opinion.
They somehow get on the other side of fear. Once through it they have more freedom to navigate. There’s even sometimes a certain recklessness there, a willingness to throw their imperfect selves out into public view while not really thinking beforehand how people might react.
Hopefully, it’s all good.