Thursday, February 6, 2014

Passion: It's a Double-Edged Sword

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”  ~William James
So you care about something.
You really, really, care about it.
It gives your life a certain zest, a certain vitality.
It makes everything else in your life sweeter, and more precious.
It isn't 'your life' but it's an essential part of your life.

Perhaps others see it as silly,
Self-centered,
Pointless,
Trivial.

But for you, it is an essential part of the whole.
You are a tiny Geist,
You are your own little world,
But you are also an essential piece in this huge reality, 
and each part is a crucial piece.

Like a puzzle, the picture may be clear with a few pieces missing,
but it is not complete, and whole.
And, if you are missing essential pieces,
the picture is rendered a meaningless collection of shapes and colors.
To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/william_james.html#H3qfXhJSWjYmGxH1.99“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”
Passions make us whole,
Though life, in appearance, may continue,
even when the passions are lost, denied - ripped from us.

Do you get that?
Do you feel that?
Do you have that?
And this is when we are tested. 
“If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.” ~ William James
The scariest part of being passionate about something is that that same passion can cause so much pain and angst because we care so much about it.

Last night:
I toss and turn from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m. and then doze, on and off, for the next 2ish hours until the alarm buzzes at 6:50. Why??? Stupid running. Stupid damn running. This is not precipitated by any 'important' worries - just running. The tears are bottled up in my throat all night long. I try to quiet the voices of doom...of weakness...of stupidity...Fail.

And, actually it's all about the fact that I haven't 'really' been able to run for almost 3 weeks when I should be training for Boston...When I had finally felt that I was in shape to do something that mattered to me...When I can feel myself losing it...and fast.

7:05 a.m.:
My husband notices that I'm bleary eyed. "Are you okay?"
"No. I was up from 2-5, and after"
"Why? Is it JUST the foot thing? Or something else..."

JUST!!!?? JUST!!!?? Why YES, it IS JUST the f-ing foot 'THING'.

And this 'foot thing' is not 'just' an injury. It's a repeating story. 13 years ago I tore my Posterior Tibialis tendon falling while bouldering and since I had no health insurance at the time my treatment and rehab was less than optimal. I was in a cast for 6 weeks and then I was on my own. It took me about 2 years to get back to what I felt was full function. Importantly, this isn't just a typical post. tib. injury because it has complications. And that past injury continues to return when least expected. And in this case I really did not see it coming.

Worse, the long term complications can be devastating (  Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction) for a runner - and I'm not AWFULIZING - or am I?
“The strenuous life tastes better”  ~ Willam James
And so I lie awake nights thinking about all of this. And it is JUST my foot. And this is JUST Boston...and I've gone through this before and I will go through it again. These are the risks we all take.  And I think people are probably tired of listening to it. So I TRY to stuff it. And this is the only way I let it out...And crying inside my head at 2 a.m.

I believe most of us who are passionate about something understand the fear of losing what we most love - be that a lover, a child, an ability, whatever. It is safer not to care. Then I could just shake this off. I could use this time to do other things I care about.

But I don't want to do that, I say, shaking my fist at the heavens. I just want to run.

What I need right now, is Faith. 
"Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is still theoretically possible ... faith is the readiness to act in a cause the prosperous issue of which is not certified to us in advance." ~ William James, "The Will To Believe"
Maybe I'm being silly about 'The (stupid) Foot'. But, I don't understand people who seem not to care.
There are times I wish I cared less. And then I realize that if I did, I would be dead, in a sense.

I gnash my teeth and claw at the forces that test me, that try to deny me what I care about - and at times I feel weary, head in hands, and I weep.

But then I pick myself back up, and I press on. Because I have no other choice.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. ~ William James

The Things That Change Us

“The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” ~ Goethe Sometimes we never "go back" to what we were before....