Once again D.L. Hammons is hosting the Deju Vu Blogfest. This is the blogging event where participants are invited to share one of their lesser performing blog posts in order to give a wider audience one more chance to read what they may have missed. My post comes from early January of 2015. This post addresses the subject of passion versus obsession.
Is It Passion or Obsession?
|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? Do you enjoy blogging more or less now than when you first started?
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