Recently, I started a new creative project that absolutely captivated my attention.
To the point of obsession.
At night, I’d fall asleep thinking about it. In the morning I found myself sleeping longer than I should because I wanted to lay in bed “thinking” about the possibilities of this project. I’d spend a few hours a day searching online for ways to make this project magnificent. Do you know how many ideas there are online for this project? Probably millions. And I probably know half of them by now! I began to ignore my family during evening family time because I was stealing one more peak at an idea online.
At first it was fun. Then I started to get a bit grumpy. And snappy. And my inner light began to dim.
I realized that a very good thing had turned into something that was not contributing to my happiness or the happiness of my family.
Our passions can be an assortment of things throughout our life. We are given talents and interests and desires in our life for a reason: To make this world better. But any of these passions can get out of control if they are not bridled in.
This is the best test I know for judging my own level of passion to be healthy or unhealthy–>Do I feel love?
Do I feel love for myself, others, and my passion?
I certainly wasn’t feeling love for any of those things at the rate I was going.
Sadly, this experience has repeated itself throughout my life. I burned out in music because I didn’t bridle my passion. I burned out in having a photography business because I didn’t bridle my passion. And on and on. I have a pattern here.
Limitations and guidelines are beautiful.
They help set up healthy restrictions so we can have a fullness of joy in our experiences. We can experience real love in our passions only when they are within boundaries.
I immediately set up some boundaries for myself and things have been so much better.
Are you bridling your passions so you can feel love? If not, here are some possible boundaries to consider:
1. Limit your time. Even if your passion is your own family! If you’re not feeling love it might be that you need a little break 🙂 Setting a schedule, working with a timer, and setting up rules about downtime or digital time are great ways to have some time boundaries.
2. Intentionally schedule other things to do or think about.
I could read self help books all day long. I crave information on how to improve myself and my life. But sometimes our brains need a break from those things we love to think about most. I have to force myself to read novels, but it is a great break for my head. Scheduling recreation with my family is another built in distraction that helps me not go overboard in my own passionate pursuits.
3. Write out the purpose of your passion and create a little mission statement. Once you define what a healthy pursuit of this looks like it is easier to notice when things start to go off track. I took the time to journal out “why” I wanted to work on my project and how it would bless my life and the life of my family. It’s been a great gauge for helping me remember the good intention behind it but also to keep things in check.
What helps you bridle your passions?
Brooke Snow is a Professional Photographer for her own family and Abundant Living Practitioner. She delights in dining outdoors, cycling through Utah canyons, and spending leisure time with her husband and adventurous 3 year old son.