The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Is It Passion or Obsession?



        My previous post hinted toward my song choice for my Battle of the Bands post that will be appearing tomorrow January 15th.   Once again I am using today's post for a topic not specifically about my song choice, but it alludes to the subject matter of the song.  No one guessed the song correctly on the previous post though there were some excellent suggestions made.  Maybe this post will lead you to making a correct guess.   And if you don't give a whit about my Battle of the Bands posts, it doesn't really matter because this post is not about that anyway.



English: On a pedestal in Another Place
 On a pedestal in Another Place (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        When I first started Tossing It Out in late 2009 I became so excited about blogging that it became one of my main topics of conversation with anyone who might listen.  I began to research the topic of blogging and read everything I could find about it in order to become a better blogger.  My thoughts became focused on my blog most of my waking hours and sometimes even into sleep.

          There were probably those who thought my interest in blogging had become a somewhat annoying obsession.  Some supported me in helping me to grow my base of followers while others politely indulged me as I babbled incessantly about this or that aspect of social media.  After a few months I even had business cards printed so it would be easier for people to remember my blog address in order to read it later.   Few of those cards reaped new readers to my knowledge, but having them was helpful in some cases if for no other reason than to open up the conversation to the topic of blogging.

         It took me about a year and a half to temper my obsession to a point of more reasonably subdued passion.   These days I still maintain a strong interest in blogging, but I no longer see it as my big mission in life.  Now it is a tool for my platform, to use that common cliche of branding and marketing.   Blogging is fun for me, but I don't force it on anyone and only bring it up if the subject seems appropriate to introduce to a conversation.

         When I was younger I went through periods where I developed certain interests in which I invested time, thought, and money.   For example I had a passion for stamp collecting from about third grade until my early high school years.   Then there were the periods when I became very involved with model building or immersing myself in anything related to science fiction and monsters.   Like an artist who can be evaluated by his creative stages, my life has seen periods of interests, sometimes for prolonged periods and other times short-lived.

         My biggest material passion has been for music.  Once I started working in my late teens and had more money to spend, I began buying records albums on a regular basis.  This passion for music peaked in the 80's when I voraciously began to accumulate cassette tapes (that was the medium of choice at that time) until I was carrying hundreds of them in my van as I traveled about in my road show days.

        There have been many phases in my life when I have pursued interests with a fervency that might be called passion.  On the other hand, my pursuits might be more correctly considered as hobbies or interests.   I'm certainly no different than others in this respect.   If we don't have certain interests that define us to some extent then we can seem rather dimensionless and boring.

          In all of our lives we have each undoubtedly had best friends with whom we shared hours of time.  Many times those friendships can end in sweet--or sometimes bitter--parting as we move on in our lives.  We might be left with longings for their companionship and fond memories as life carries us onward into new relationships or life pursuits, but we often move on without those old friends.  This is just part of the progression of life--friends who become hazy happy memories as well as those friends with whom we might stay connected with for many years or even the rest of our lives.   It would be abnormal and uncomfortable  to obsess on a friend or acquaintance so most of us allow the space necessary to nurture the relationship or we quietly drift apart if that is the destiny of things.

          And then there is love in the sense of romance and long term bonds.  This is the love that leads to marriage and family for many of us.   We find that singular object of our affection with whom we want to share life in the deepest sense that lives can be shared.  The ideal societal goal is to find a monogamous partner with whom we can have children and build families.  This takes a strong commitment involving passion that falls short of stifling obsession of ownership yet an obsession to make the relationship work.   Things don't always turn out as planned, but most of us have that ideal to work toward.

          To love someone in a way that we idolize them in the purest sense, not in any bizarre obsessive way, should be a goal in committed relationships.   We should not burn with a possessive nature that stifles the other or desire to control another with some sense of ownership much like a stamp collector might long to possess a coveted stamp for his collection, but we should have a focus that makes that partner our one and only, the only shining star that we see in a celestial tapestry filled with stars.   If we walk into a roomful of people, our one true love is the one to whom our eyes are drawn with admiration and the deepest satisfaction in being a part of that person's life.  That is the ideal, though often not the reality.

         True love is the stuff of stories.  It's that irrational emotion that brings out the poet in many of us.  It can be fun, wonderful, and even scary. What we might define as love is the most scary when the obsession creeps within us creating the stalker mentality.   A criminal passion can make us do crazy things, but the pure beautiful passion that is true love brings us as close to heaven as any earthbound human can be.   I want a burning desire or yearning that transcends possessiveness or control and becomes more akin to personal sacrifice for the sake of love in a similar way that a believer might have toward God.  Not a replacement to loving God, but next in line to love for God.   The most reverent of feelings that two humans can have for one another.   This is a fine dream in my eyes and something for which to strive.

          When do you think a passionate love devolves into aberrant obsession?    Do you feel uncomfortable when someone admires you in the sense of placing you on a pedestal?    From the words above can you guess the BOTB song that will be appearing here tomorrow?


41 comments:

  1. Still no idea.
    It's all about a healthy balance. When it consumes you, then it's too much.
    I am passionate about my wife and my guitar playing. My biggest passion is my love for God though.

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  2. I think there's a fairly thin line b/t passion and obsession. I think I'm probably obsessed with all things Harry Potter. Oh, and crafting, photography, buying beads & craft supplies. I guess I'm probably obsessed with my husband too b/c I think about him constantly. You'd think after 4 years together that would have waned but I still feel like a lovesick teenager. 4 years into my first marriage we were living as roommates and best friends but there was zero passion. This marriage is the complete opposite.

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    1. But the criteria to consider is whether or not an obsession is healthy. Does one's obsessing on something interfere with normal day to day living or does that obsession prevent one from taking care of one's own needs appropriately? But you're right about the thin line between passion and obsession and some would argue that they are essentially the same.

      Lee

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  3. I agree with Alex that, like most things, it's all about a healthy balance. Being passionate is a wonderful thing. Obsessed? Not so much. And I would not be comfortable if someone put me on a pedestal to admire me. I'm shy. I'd be mortified and I'd want to hide.

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    1. Yeah, being on a pedestal means you have too much to have to live up to. Under constant scrutiny it's easy to fall from a pedestal.

      Lee

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  4. Wow -- now I'm even more confused. "Every Breath You Take" fits even more.

    There are a lot of modern obsession songs I can think of ("One Way or Another" by Blondie, "Obsession" by Animotion, "Possession" by Sarah MacLachlin, etc), but none would fit your "recorded numerous times in many styles by a wide range of artists" line.

    How about "You Belong to Me?" It's got watching and seeing things all around the world, with a possessive obsessed passion refrain.

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    1. "You Belong to Me" is closer than any of your other guesses here.

      Lee

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  5. >>... When do you think a passionate love devolves into aberrant obsession?

    When you're O.J. Simpson.

    >>... Do you feel uncomfortable when someone admires you in the sense of placing you on a pedestal?

    I wouldn't know, but I'd like to find out.

    >>... From the words above can you guess the BOTB song that will be appearing here tomorrow?

    It's either 'Stairway To Heaven' or 'Another Brick In The Wall'. (Unless it's 'Play That Funky Music, White Boy'.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I'm kind of surprised that you haven't guessed the song. I'd think it would be one that is right up your line of interest as far as music goes. I really think you'll like the combatants that I've chosen.

      Lee

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    2. ">>... Do you feel uncomfortable when someone admires you in the sense of placing you on a pedestal?

      I wouldn't know, but I'd like to find out."


      Does having female bloggers proclaim you to be "The Sexiest Man on Earth" qualify?

      ;)

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    3. Ha!
      Only if you REALLY ARE The Sexiest Man On The Planet.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      -------- BOIDMAN --------
      To be honest, I never even try to guess. I figure I'll find out when I find out. Too many other things crowding in on my mind, especially these days.

      Delete
    4. Oh, I know, but from the clues I've planted I figured some of the readers who have a far reaching knowledge of popular standard songs would have something jump out and grab them. I think you'll see what I'm saying when you learn the song in the BOTB post.

      Lee

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    5. LEE ~
      Are you absolutely SURE that it's not 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN' or 'ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL'?

      Maybe you should check, just to make certain, because I had a strong, strong feeling about both of those songs.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    6. Well, if you keep climbing that stairway then you're going to run into a brick wall. I hope you don't blacken your eyes when you do.

      I'll just say any singer of the lyrics of this song has very strong feelings about something--or someone.

      ...more clues for you.

      Lee

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  6. I know a few people with obsessive passions about things like sports teams or famous people.
    I think most people's interest vary as they mature. I've never collected anything except books.

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    1. As we get older we get a more realistic outlook about what is attainable and what is not. Sometimes we also just get more jaded about life. It's best when we've learned enough to be interested in a lot of different things.

      Lee

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  7. I don't think I could guess the song. >_<

    I totally relate to the hobbies and level of dedication given to each. My sis-in-law calls me the girl with a hundred hobbies, because I try everything that interests me--from wire working to digital painting.

    On the relationship side, though, I'm hopelessly UNromantic. And my husband says I'm his own personal stalker. We even have a song! Goldfinger - Stalker

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    1. Never heard that song, but sentiment expressed in it might be a solution to a stalker or could be a nightmare. Sometimes I think my multitude of interests prevents me from focusing on one.

      Lee

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  8. Each of us eventually finds something which clicks with us deep down. Usually, it is a unique thing with us. Then, we find like minds, it is a true joy. The internet is so vast that it becomes much easier to find kindred spirit -- no wonder you and others found great joy in it. :-)

    When any interest overwhelms our lives, edging aside all else, then it becomes a problem. Great post.

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    1. The internet does make it much easier to find info about interests as well as others who enjoy the same thing.

      Lee

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  9. Lee, I've transitioned into the obsession catagory years ago. But at least my obsession is safe. I don;t gamble and I'm not addicted to drugs or alcohol. And there are no dead bodies buried in my backyard (they're in my neighbors yard).

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    1. Safe should keep you out of trouble.

      Lee

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  10. Having passion for someone or something is good. It brings emotions, love, happiness all the positive traits we actually need to feel alive. When it becomes an obsession is when the danger signs need to come out. All else fades except for that obsession and then it becomes destructive. If anyone places someone on a pedestal, well, I don;t think that is healthy because that person is looking at the other through rose-coloured glasses. Eventually that person on that pedestal will slip. There was one person who placed me there...many eons ago and it did not end well. No one can measure up to that ideal

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    1. So true--the over-the-top admiration is unrealistic and will eventually be uncovered as the sham the mind created.

      Lee

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  11. There can be a fine line between love and passionate obsession. It differs from person to person and situation to situation, and outsiders might misinterpret passionate love as obsession. For example, a professor might spend all his or her time reading and writing about Chinese architecture, and someone who doesn't share that burning love might think it's weird or one-tracked. We probably all have things we strongly love which other people just can't understand, as when some of the other kids at my second high school thought it was stupid, weird, etc., for me to be so passionately into Russian history.

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    1. I think the passion is validated by the positive outcomes. When there is too much attention given to one thing then one's life can become weird and out-of-control, that is if the passion leads to nothing useful in the end.

      Lee

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  12. I collected stamps for a little while. I still have them somewhere.

    I am not a believer in the "one true love" thing. No one person can be to anyone everything that person needs.

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    1. True, the "one true love" is an ideal that is not achievable in itself, but a steadfast love who provides an anchor as well as support to pursue other dreams can be possible I think. I've seen relationships that appear as such though I guess we don't always know everything behind doors when they are closed.

      Lee

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  13. No idea on the song.

    My hubby and I have 46 in and we're still pretty solid but I don't think there have ever been pedestals involved. Most parents get in a little pedestal time when the kids are very young, then come the teen years and that's the end of that. I guess my one non-romantic passion would have to be my beloved Red Sox.

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    1. Best to keep ones feet firmly planted in reality.

      Lee

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  14. Do you feel uncomfortable when someone admires you in the sense of placing you on a pedestal?

    Although it doesn't happen often, I become extremely uncomfortable when someone admires me in ANY sense. I know that at any given moment I'm about two seconds away from some form of 'dumb blondeness' and probably the most difficult thing for me to accept is, disappointing anybody. While I was growing up the worst thing my Daddy ever said to me was that I disappointed him and unfortunately I did, often.

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    1. Oooh! Coming from a parent--especially a father to a daughter--that would really sting. I was sometimes disappointed in things my daughters did, but I always tried to encourage them as best I could. Letting others down can be very discouraging.

      Lee

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  15. Balance is a definite necessity as well as an ability for a couple to weather the vicissitudes of their lives. We haven't done too badly at 42 years.

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    1. Anyone getting past 20 years in this day and age has done a pretty remarkable job. 42 years is to be lauded.

      Lee

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  16. Balance is relationship is paramount for success. The passion has to breathe and the individuals need to come up for air, to get grounded and to be able to re-align with themselves again; otherwise suffocation and smothering are apt to take a toll on the relationship. My folks just celebrated their 60th anniversary the other day and it warmed my heart to sit back and realize how very long that is to be with someone. To weather all of life's storms together, to have experienced all sides of the "in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer" marriage coin and still be able to sit on the couch and hold hands to me is quite amazing. I admire people who can stick it out like that. I certainly haven't been able to do it. I joked that a man starts getting on my nerves about a year in! I haven't found that fairy tale romance, although I have had some amazing romances and fun whirlwinds, but nothing long lasting. I think a lot of that is my fault: I'm a freedom freak and have an extraordinary need for space and "breathing room" so I haven't been particularly encouraging anything remotely resembling a relationship. And I'm okay with that. I guess the fact that I'm not yearning for a lasting relationship might just mean that I'm not meant to be in one. But what do I know?
    And I certainly can't guess your next BOTB song Lee! But you definitely have my curiosity piqued!

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    1. We live in a different time with different ideological outlooks than previous generations. When I went into my first marriage I fully expected that would be the one until I left this Earth. Now here I am in my 3rd marriage. At least I've made it past the 17 year mark in this one.

      Personal freedom is very important, but a solid commitment to stay together has to be there as well. Divorce should not be the option like it has become, especially when children come into the scene. But things are what they are and society is much more accepting of moving in and out of marital relationships.

      I hope the one I'm in now is until death do us part. That's my plan at least, but I'm only half of the partnership so let's hope we both stay on the same page.

      I wish you well in the future and hope things turn out for the best for you.

      Lee

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  17. BotB guess: Obsession (You're My Obsession)

    Blogging became an obsession for me for a period of time. Not so much now. So too went the writing obsession. Sad, when I think of it. Now its all just a hobby, and will likely go the way of all my other hobbies (including the overwhelming need to read all the time).

    I think I'm commitment phobic. Been married and divorced three times; although I still date the last ex, and we've been together roughly 21 years. Wow, sounds like a long time; not living together has been great for our relationship.

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    1. That's not the song, but I can understand why you'd choose it since it certainly fits what I've been talking about.
      I'd like to be more passionate about writing and have it be my avocation or occupation.
      They say absence makes the heart fonder so maybe it helps to have that time apart. Occasionally my wife have had to be apart (not due to marital separation, but for other various reasons) and getting back together seemed fresher--being apart seemed to help us. I've been committed to staying married but things didn't work out in my first two for one reason or another. I'm still friendly with my first wife though. Don't speak to my second though and she lives 3000 miles from me which is just fine.

      Lee

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  18. We've been married for over twenty-seven years, and I think my writing hobby has actually strengthened our marriage in some ways. I'm so glad your love of blogging led to A to Z, Lee! I can't wait to find out about your mystery song!

    Julie

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    1. 27 years is pretty decent. I've got 10 to go to match that.

      Lee

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If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee