We may take the leap and go all into things like there is no middle spot.
And that often seems to work for us. It feels like always being on the high wave, getting things done, maintaining the happiest relationships and believing with certainty that we can achieve absolutely anything.
Until, we reach a day when the something that really matters to us hits a point of collapse and then we collapse along with them.
And that’s because there is a bit of a downside of being too passionate. To put it simply, when you go about attaching your happiness, your existence and your life’s meaning too deeply with your work, your relationships or anything else for that matter, you put yourself at risk.
And why is that?
Because with attachment comes a very strong urge to control the circumstances.
Life is meant to be lived and to not to be over-analyzed. Yet, more often than not we find ourselves stuck in our head recounting experiences, mostly unpleasant ones over and over again till they bring us down.
Not only that, we also tend to carry them with us around like bad weather. They form our prejudices and biases about our view of the world. We tend to over-generalize and assume things when we hold on too tightly to our past experiences.
It’s one thing to take the learnings from an experience and move further in life with new wisdom and it’s totally another thing to carry the bitterness, guilt and regret over the past experiences and letting them taint your present days.
This often happens when we fail to completely accept and let go of our bad experiences.
When something bad happens, feel free to feel the pain, grieve and let go. Only through acceptance, can you free yourself from the weight and detach yourself from it.
Many of us are extremely passionate people.
Passionate about everything; be it life in general, work, friendships, or relationships. Bustling with energy, we like to give our hearts, souls, minds and energy completely into things that matter to us.
And while you can exercise some amount of control over what happens in your life, that will absolutely never eliminate the possibility of things going haywire or the possibility of your plans and ambitions not quite turning into reality.
You put yourself at risk because you put so much of yourself into something unwilling to believe that there is a tiny chance that it might not quite work out the way you plan.
And I don’t deny that this kind of confidence is necessary. It is probably the only reason behind strong risk-taking capabilities and subsequent achievements.
That’s why the problem hasn’t entirely got to do with being passionate alone. Passion is everything, after all. Defined as ‘a strong and barely controllable desire’, feeling passionate is what makes you feel alive.
The problem turns out to be with delusional thinking.
Remember how people say ‘Love is blind’? What they essentially imply there is that feeling too much passion and attachment towards something can skew our perception of it.
It can make us unwilling to accept the possibility of things going wrong. It can make us unwilling to see the flaws in our plan. It can make us oblivious to the truth that is right in front of us. Be it in our work, in our relationships or anything else in our life that we feel strongly passionate about, we all have a tendency to look at it in a skewed manner.
“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached. ”
― Simone Weil
So if the ceiling breaks and things go wrong one after the other, because sometimes they do despite your best efforts, you might find yourself really struggling to cope up.
But does that mean passion is a bad thing? Should you never give yourself completely into anything? Should you not love unconditionally and whole-heartedly? Should you not embrace life fully with enthusiasm and be ready to take risks?
I don’t think so.
But you should always and always stick to an idea of ‘self’ that is independent of anything else in your life.
“Remain in the world, act in the world, do whatsoever is needful, and yet remain transcendental, aloof, detached, a lotus flower in the pond.”
― Osho, The Secret of Secret