Chameleon? Or Fierce Fire?
Energy. Everything is energy. Whether we own it or not, we humans ARE energy and we all HAVE creative energy, sexual energy, intellectual energy… everyone has them, it’s just that we don’t all USE them. As the quote at the start of this chat from Brene’ Brown says – if we don’t use our energies – they have to go SOMEwhere. They sneak out is mutated places that they don’t belong because they are a force we cannot stop.
In my life, passion is an important component that has propelled me further than most can imagine. I’ve been drawn to passionate relationships, situations, jobs, hobbies. I’ve been passionate about what I do, my personal growth & people. It was role modeled for me by my parents to be sure – lots of fire in BOTH of them.
Passion has also gotten me into some relationships and situations that weren’t super healthy. That’s because when passion isn’t aimed in a way that is meaningful for us – it can become anger pretty easily. I have mistaken anger for passion many times.
So after a few rounds of living my life with passion (disguised as anger) – I decided it wasn’t good for me. I told my old friend passion to take a hike because I was going to go for sanity! I had made a conscious decision to not be such an angry person way back in Jr. high, and in my late 20’s I made another decision; to reduce the drama in my life.
I meet many super aware people in their 20’s, but I was not one of those! I would make big decisions and then come hell or high water – I was sticking to it. The decision to reduce the drama was one of those times. My brain was in charge and my heart was told to just be quiet and understand that this was better for me. What I didn’t understand is that there is a balance – head and heart working together = wisdom. Either one working on its own = not being whole and fulfilled. And remember, that energy of passion has to go SOMEwhere, even if we choose not to use it.
When you are in a situation like a job or a relationship that has low or limited passion, it’s really tempting to become a chameleon. Blend in, strive to be accepted, fit in. Indeed, this can work for a while and if you are really strong willed – even a long while. Your brain can convince you with thoughts like; "Shouldn't this be enough for me? I mean it's not bad - right?" Or "Most people would love to have this - what's wrong with me that I'm not happy with it?" Or the super co-dependent thought... "Well others have it worse off than me, I should feel lucky."
Yet eventually, that held down passion will blow the lid off the pressure cooker. It will appear in places that don’t move us forward like anger, rage, resentment and other stuff that’s no fun to be in or around.
Above is one of my all-time favorite quotes. The chameleon route has positives for sure. It’s actually great in sales to help built rapport with clients, it can be helpful in many situations. It’s when it becomes the go-to way of being that we can start to lose ourselves.
I have been blaming some externals in my life for my feeling a lack of passion in myself. This is quite simply put… bullshit. The level of passion I decide to invoke is not about who or what is in my life, it’s totally about a choice I must make. Am I going to try and match the energy of my surroundings? Or do I want to be a fierce fire and set my own tone? I get to choose.
If others or conditions aren’t fired up that is not an excuse to say there is no passion in my life. If I am depending on externals or other people to create my happiness or level of passion, I am screwed.
My 30 day challenge to myself to focus on love and appreciation this month has brought along with it some amazing and unexpected added benefits. Simply focusing on being love, being in appreciation and dropping the majority of my expectations, has led to way more clarity about who I am, what I want, & what I won’t settle for. Who knew this was the path to CLARITY!?!?!?
As much as going for JUST the basic things in life like: security, ease, low drama, dollars, respect, accomplishment, esteem, etc… may seem smart to our brains – it’s settling. We can have all these needs met and still feel empty without passion.
But also, going for JUST passion is also to settle. A relationship or career/situation with JUST passion and none of the basics won’t be fulfilling either. We have to integrate our head and our heart.
“We’re either growing or we’re dying” as Tony Robbins says. We ALL want to grow, become more, rise up, move forward. But this is not up to anyone else to give to us. We must give it to ourselves, even when no one else seems to notice or care. It’s not up to my job, my relationships, my conditions to LIGHT my passion. Those things can STOKE the fire, I have to be the one to start it and tend to it.
So, will I be a chameleon or fierce fire? Depends on the day, the situation, my self-awareness. They are both fine things to be. It’s when we fall into a default setting of either or when we judge ourselves for being either one that we miss out on the fullness of our lives.
What frequency do you CHOOSE to emit today? Will it be determined by other people? Conditions? To some extent – yes, because not everyone can meet you where you are. Will you decide for yourself what frequency you want to be on, no matter what? To a large extent – yes!, because we must create our own life based on what we know is true for each of us.
What it all comes down to is how OPEN we decide to be in any given moment, how much love we choose to emit. This decision will be somewhat determined by how open others are with you. How safe it feels. This is simply wisdom. This is what spiritual practice is about.
David Deida puts it like this… “Spiritual practice is the capacity to offer your love, even when you feel hurt, closed down, tense, angry, misunderstood or hated.” It’s coming back to ourselves, loving ourselves and others and choosing the aperture setting on our love and openness… chameleon setting? Fierce Fire? Or somewhere in-between? It's up to you to decide.
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Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!