Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Things we do for love

“We take risks, we thrive,
we drive far away,
just to play,
and be alive”

(part of my poem, “Things We do for Love”)

Experiences - mine and other's - are my road map through life. Theory is the wayside, where I can eventually stop to check the map.

One friend of mine once asked me, "What is love and what is passion for you?" and I asked back, "Do you want to know the theory, or the experience?" She thought for one and a half seconds and said, "Both!"

There I went with the theory first, "Love is what makes you feel in harmony and in balance. It's the reason. Passion is what makes you feel exuberant and ecstatic. It's the energy." And then came the experiential part of the theory, what, of course, varies to each person.

Is it possible to love and not be passionate? Is it possible to be passionate, without love? For me, Yes and No! To both questions!  Although, when love and passion comes together, we have it all! Really, "all". Because we have then harmony and balance to keep us sane, and exuberance and ecstasy to keep us alive! And THAT is a heck of an experience!

This is not only valid for people's relationships, but also for our relationship with things. One may love his job, but not be passionate about it. You may love your spouse and not be passionate, either. Teenagers sometimes are passionate about things, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, but many times that is not love!

I love photography, but I don't think I am passionate enough to become a professional photographer. I am very pleased with my beautiful and artistic shots, framed on my own wall. And that is the point: the intensity of love is the measure of our capacity to change, to go beyond, to give, to transform situations and ourselves. Highly intense love is sometimes understood as passion, because that's what moves us along. If there is not enough love, or passion, we don't move so far.

People usually pursue what they love and are passionate about. If it's just love, things can wait. Love makes us too confident, calm and still. Not enough pep to accomplish things. If it's only passion, we can never wait long enough to accomplish things. Passion puts us in a hurry. What sometimes can be helpful, if mingled with the confidence and calm that love provides.

It seems that love is more of a commitment, and passion is more of a burst. Well, does this sound like a theory? Yes, it does! Theory and experience overlap a little, and so do love and passion.

When we love we are brave and do everything up to our limits! When we are moved by passion, we dare to go beyond our limits. Way beyond!

When we love someone, we make exceptions, we support the other's interests just to see the beloved one happy! But when we love AND are passionate, we not only support, we physically and intellectually help the beloved one, for the pleasure of giving, and being an active part of their passion, too!

Love and passion should be together in all what we do... okay, it's not always possible! It's hard to be passionate about cleaning the windows or mowing the lawn, no matter how much we love our property! But, in a sense, it's some kind of passion that moves us towards the lawn mower or the Windex. It's the passion for our ideals and principles. If my ideal of Home Sweet Home is to have spotless windows and a nice lawn, I move towards it! At this point, it's not passion for the lawn and windows, but for what leads me to them: the ideal.

Love makes us more realistic. "I love my property but I don't want to mow the lawn." Passion makes us more like a beast! You grab that darn lawn mower and to the front yard you go! Front yard first, because the neighbors must see how passionate you are about your lawn! (Well, if it's not passion, then it must be that sense of “I should” that moves you. If so, my dear... I am sorry for you!)

All right, that was just a silly example. Now take it to a higher level and think about other ideals: personal freedom; or even spiritual, financial or political ideals. It's the passion for such values that motivates people to do what they do. It doesn't matter if it's an intense love affair or the affiliation to a political party, the reason is the same: all starts with the passion for an ideal.

Here is the battle: if the beast in you (sensibility) eats the reality (sense), you become a prey to your own instincts. If your reality suffocates your inner beast, the beast dies and you are doomed to live a boring, colorless, meaningless life. So, sense and sensibility must go hand in hand, already said Jane Austen, right? And I am with her!

Some married people claim they love their spouses, but they are so full of sense that the passion fades away (if it were there, some day). One part cannot do for the other anything that is related to passion because there is none! Some married people can't even help each other with their endeavors, because one's interests are not the other's interests. Okay, that's fine, we are all different, but what about some support to the partner? Love supports! We all have different tastes, approaches, dreams and goals in life. When there is love (even if there is no passion) it does not matter if you like blue and your partner likes yellow. You could even buy him/her a yellow pair of sneakers, couldn't you? Noooo??? So you must not be in love, or passionate enough!

My friend Jane (not Austen) never liked sports, and she is supporting her boyfriend just because of love and passion. She knows that she doesn't need to be an athlete to support him. She just helps him to become one, because that's important to him. And he is important to her. More than importance, this is love and passion together.

Sometimes we do things not because we like or agree with, but because they are important for someone who we love and are passionate about. Sometimes things can be difficult, but it always turns out to be a pleasure, never a sacrifice, when we truly love and are passionate.


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