A tremendous, and definitely noticeable blush appears across my face, a look of surprise, usually consisting of widened eyes with my mouth agape, and finally, a set of shivers that go up both my arms to my core – This is how I react when experiencing something new and exciting. If that something really struck a chord that day, you might even hear some sort of sound that if exposed too long, may cause permanent harm.
Okay, so I’m high-strung. Don’t you get excited over Peer Gynt’s Suite For Orchestra? How about when the amount of cereal left in the box is perfectly proportional to the amount of milk you have left in the jug? No….? Moving on….
I want you to think of a specific time in your life, a person, or an experience that makes you feel completely overjoyed. It will help me convey my thoughts to you. Was this the first time you saw that significant other? How about a moment of recognition after a duration of hard work? This could even be as simple as getting to see a friend you haven’t for awhile, or hitting all of those traffic lights green.
The combination of all of those feelings of pure elation, amusement, and jubilance is almost euphoric. I love hearing from older people on how they felt as children, or at milestone events in their life. It’s almost as if a part of those first, fresh feelings are coming back as a reminder to how wonderful, or at least impressionable the time was. That’s beautiful.
So the graduation ceremony has ended. You embraced loved ones, left the venue, and are now in bed just thinking about the day in totality. Those highs don’t last forever. It appears now, that the passion in that moment has “faded” to contentedness. Sure, you aren’t bouncing off the walls with excitement, but now a new feeling overtakes you. This is primarily what I wanted to talk about.
Humans are junkies for the good feelings. That blood-boiling pleasure. It motivates us to do great things, or make some very…interesting choices. Why are you pursuing another person? Why are you working towards that degree? Why do you wake up every morning for your job? Why did you get that salad.. ( I’m sure it was to make up for that otherwise extremely tasty, yet unhealthy lunch)? Obviously, most of us want to just go through life the best we can enjoying ourselves along the way.
No matter how intense and invigorating the feelings are in the moment, I know personally that I need the mental security net of contentedness afterwards. That best friend that you haven’t seen in years has decided to visit you every day for a week. The first time you meet, you might have my initial reaction that I described, but what about by the end of the week? Are you jumping up and down with joy? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t feel the same about a person or that it’s just not the same. In fact, I believe that your passion for that person is just changing, developing, growing.
“Our passion are the true phoenixes; when the old one is burnt out, a new one rises from its ashes.”
– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Many people believe that if they aren’t having those initial feelings of felicity, that maybe something is wrong. Yes, this definitely could be a sign that something isn’t working out the way it should be, but on the other hand, it could be a sign that something is going the right way! Remember that the feelings of contentedness may be that phoenix taking a new form. The next day, you could have new passionate feelings that you’ve never had before. Both parts of the cycle are important, in my opinion, to fully enjoy an experience for all that it is worth.
I know I have come across these questions a million times myself: “Has this passion faded for good? Has this passion faded well enough that I probably should move onto something else?”
That’s a tough one. Everyone is different. It’s so easy to focus on the negative feelings in the here and now. Sometimes you may feel that you are investing so much energy into one thing and aren’t getting enough energy back to continue. Maybe take a step not necessarily backwards, but to the side for awhile and see if that passion will rekindle. The frustrating, yet great thing about all of this is that there is no timeline, no right or wrong, and even if you explain your feelings to someone, no one is 100% exactly like you. I think that makes life fulfilling.
The contentedness is just as important as the passion. Not to mention all of the lovely gray areas where these two mix. You’d be surprised that those feelings of peace, serenity, security, and harmony can really help balance all of those fiery feelings. Maintain an open mind.
A tremendous, and eerily calm expression appears across my face. My eyes tell you that everything in the world, at least in this exact moment is where it needs to be, my mouth morphs into a delightful little grin, an almost inaudible sound escapes, and chills run up my arms to my core – This is how I feel when I am content.
Nature is filled with plenty of cycles, dig deeper to learn more about yourself.
What goes up, doesn’t have to come down.