There is such a thing as caring too much.
Trust me, the struggle is real.
Very often, strong-willed, passionate people can suffer from this pandemic that I like to call OCC: Obsessive Compulsive Caring.
They’ve long begun to give themselves up to their passion as opposed to giving of themselves for their passion—and the trouble with us kind of crazy but still endearing folk is that the line that separates giving of ourselves and giving up ourselves is a fine one—one that doesn’t always send out big loud warning signals when crossed.
And then one day…
You’re waking up and heaving your carcass out of bed in the morning just to sit at the edge of it feeling utterly lifeless, uninspired and underwhelmed by your own existence. If you could find your ability to give a shit, you’d be highly unimpressed with yourself for not giving a shit.
When did life become so bleak?
When did people become so dull?
When did I become so antisocial?
Dear good gawd, I’ve become a flat-liner!
All that once breathed life into you—your driving force—the very reasons you’d jump out of bed in the morning, could now go to hell in a handbasket for all you care.
All of it.
The only thing worse than staring blankly into the abyss, as you try to figure out where you’ve misplaced you passion… is... um...nothing.
Nothing is worse and I’ll tell you why.
We’re dependent on passion. Passion is the very thing we use to define who we are and what we contribute. We have no life outside of our fire—so we take it personally when it seems to have burnt out on us.
Surely, there must be something wrong with me!
Side Note: Wouldn’t it be nice if fear, anger, hurt and embarrassment would get lost as easily as passion does?
So what do you do when your passion goes AWOL?
You take a deep breath and you stop.
You just stop.
Stop trying to force it.
Stop trying to make it happen.
Stop banging your head against the desk...
the computer keyboard…
the piano keys…
Stop banging your head against the notion that passion is the end-all and be-all to your worth.
Stop meditating on it…
Stop reciting affirmations about being passionate when it feels like complete bullshit, because guess what? Right now, it is.
Stop wondering why it left you and start realizing that your unconscious mind arranged for you to take a sabbatical from your passion for your own damn good because you weren’t going to do it on your own—it just took a while for your consciousness to catch-up and clue in that you’ve lost your balance somewhere along the way and you need it back. Stat.
Stop and go do other life instead.
Do curious life…
Do Backburner life.
Use the opportunity to actually do the one day I will life you’re always talking about.
Do if I had more time life…
Do mundane life…
Do practical life…
Do that which is merely enjoyable life…
Do get on your hands and knees and scrub the hell out of your house life…
Do ‘oh dear god, not this crap again!’ life…
Do listless life…
Do simple life…
Wash your dishes at the kitchen sink and gaze out your window at the garden you never planted. Notice that you're now staring out at some uninspiring diddly squat because you once had passion. Feel the warmth of the water—smell the aroma of your dish detergent—notice the simplicity of the moment and make plans to finally plant those flowers. Wash your dishes like it’s the most important thing you’ll do today, because according to your temporarily monotonous existence, it will be, so you might as well wash ‘em like you’re Martha Stewart on camera.
Feel the inner-vacancy within you. Be with your lack of purpose.
You’re not empty or incomplete without your passion—No-no! You’re spacious!—prime emotional real-estate because you, my friend, have gained inner square footage for other life!
Notice the space but don’t judge the space—don’t try to fill the space up with frustration, fear or guilt just so it won’t be empty.
Enjoy the bare white walls of inner possibility.
Passion is a rowdy, fast-moving, stimulating energy and it takes up a lot of damn space—passion monopolizes E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G and we’re often much obliged to let it. It’s always screaming at you to “Pay attention to me, pay attention to me!” while everything else gets pushed to the wayside in order to make room for it.
So while it’s gone, don’t worry about its return—sort through what has accumulated in that wayside and then go do whatever it is you find there!
Bask in the stillness of your passionless life and use the time to cultivate a curiosity and interest for all other life so that you can be brought back to life.
Trying to boss your muse around works about as well as trying to get a pre-teen boy to take a shower.
So just stop.
Your inner fire will be back in full blazing glory before you know it—just as it always has.