“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”
We all love something. What would happen if we really followed our loves instead of following what our mothers or fathers want or believe? Or following our friends or our communities or even more importantly, following our “shoulds”? Maybe we would be happier.
I would like to think that what we spend most of our lives doing are the things we enjoy and even love. Over breakfasts our family would talk about things like love and honesty and integrity. All or most of our discussions were led by my father. He was passionate about “saving” others. I don’t know if he loved it, but he certainly had a lot of energy around it. His life revolved and still does in a way, around saving and helping others; even if they didn’t ask for his help. He would say he loved helping others.
A story comes to mind that he would relate to us. When he was two years old both of his parents worked and they brought in a baby sitter to take care of him. This woman was extremely abusive. As he remembers it, one day was a terror day, and the next was a pain day. He looked forward to the pain days over the terror ones. He would remember lying on his bed at night and asking himself which day was coming up. He would be glad it was pain. The terror days would include holding his head under water until he panicked, and then “saving” him. The pain days were pinching him in places and bruising him in places she felt would not be visible. This abuse went on for months. He grew afraid of water and he grew further and further distant from his mother. Mothers are supposed to support and protect us. In his mind, he would wonder where his mother was, how could she bring this terrorist in the house, and how did she not know what was going on? Yet he never spoke of these horrors to anyone. Finally a neighbor who apparently witnessed some events spoke with his mother about what she had seen. Soon afterwards the baby sitter was gone. But the damage was done.
In conjunction with this, my father remembers seeing a movie in high school which depicted a psychiatrist working with his patients. Before seeing this movie he thought he might grow up to be a bum and travel. He was so taken by this man in the movie listening to and helping his patients that he just knew that is what he wanted to do. He didn’t’ know what the word psychiatrist meant, so he looked it up in the dictionary. That was it; his career had begun. He knew he wanted to save others.
What we love and even may be passionate about has great meaning to us and often is a result of important formative events in our lives. This can come from old traumas we experienced and even unfinished or unreconciled events in our parent’s lives, and even over generations. It is now even proven that our DNA through our RNA is passed through the womb at least three generations.
I know people who have to dance, or have to write or create art, and love it! These passions or loves help us to work through our own personal issues, help us to understand ourselves, and become what we know the best. People who have struggled with their weight, love helping others with health and healthy eating; and know it intimately. People who are visual and see things others don’t might develop a love for sharing their visions through their art. When we allow ourselves to follow this beautiful inner direction, not only do we help us, we also help others authentically, and are more happy, whole, and vital. In my father’s case, he has to save others. I love being healthy and eating well, but I most love sharing my knowledge with others regarding spiritual and soul growth and understanding. It gives me energy. Following our inner direction makes us feel more energized and inspired instead of feeling drained when we are outer directed. What do you love?
Small Changes that Promote Big Results:
What do you love and love to do? How can you tell the difference between interest, liking something, and being passionate about something?
Take a sheet of paper and write two columns. In column 1 list what you enjoy, what you like, what you spend most of your time doing.
In column two list what you love, what you just have to do because you enjoy it so much. This is different from what you feel compelled to do; the “shoulds”.
Now cross reference the lists. Are you doing what inspires you? If you love to write, are you writing, for example?
If you aren’t doing what you love and what energizes you, take a few minutes and ask yourself what is holding you back and keeping you from doing so? Write down your answers so that they are in front of you and you can come back to them to continue working with and learning from. After all, this is your life, and it is never too late!