Do you frequently hold yourself back out of concern for what others will think? Do you stifle your own enthusiasm? Do you quench your passion instead of letting its flames ignite your spirit? How many times a day do you hold yourself back?
Do you prevent yourself from complimenting others, just because they are strangers? Have you ever not entered a competition because you feared you would lose? Have you stifled your own passion over concern you’d be rejected? Did you ever stop yourself from writing a book or composing a song because you did not know if it would be published? Have you failed to express your love towards others because a so-called “self-help” book told you not to say, “I love you.” too soon, or because you feared your love might scare someone away?
How often, and in how many ways, do you fail to live and breathe your passion? Perhaps, more importantly, what can you do to free yourself up to live in a way that totally honors your goals, dreams, and aspirations? If you could, would you choose to make a fundamental switch in your thought processes that enables you to live and breathe your passion?
At times we have all actively engaged in standing in our own way. For irrational reasons, we have talked ourselves out of doing great things, and talked ourselves into accepting mediocre circumstances that fall short of our goals, dreams, and highest good. Each of us have different reasons for engaging in self-sabotaging behavior. Any reason or rationale that we come up with for doing something that is detrimental to our goals or the fulfillment of our highest good, is called a justification.
Recently, I went to church with a dear friend of mine. The Interim Pastor: Jamie Moynihan, was discussing the word justification, and her clever take on it was that the word justification could be replaced with the words: “Just as if I had not sinned.” I believe Pastor Jamie was primarily speaking of sins against God, but I could not help acknowledging that we all use justifications to explain why we engage in behaviors, thoughts, and actions that are like small, unintentional sins against our selves.
Think of how wonderful it would be if we were all able to think, act, and behave in ways that require no justification. Perhaps the word “sin” is too heavy in its context in this article. Maybe it is more apropros for you to consider what the word justification means with these phrases in mind:
“Just as if I had not failed myself.”
“Just as if I had let myself succeed.”
“Just as if I had not lied to myself.”
“Just as if I had given myself more love.”
“Just as if I had been more kind.”
“Just as if I had expressed my true emotions.”
“Just as if I had given myself more encouragement.”
“Just as if I had believed in myself enough.”
“Just as if I had let myself say the word ‘love’ every time I felt it.”
I could easily go on and on with the “just as if” phrases in an attempt to come up with a phrase that would suit any situation or thought process. I expect that you came up with a few of your own “Just as ifs” that, hopefully, helped you to understand what stops you from taking actions to better yourself–what stops you from living and breathing your passion.
The intention in sharing this article is not to make you feel bad about times in the past that you made less than perfect decisions. The intention of this article is to offer you an opportunity to engage in self-discovery that will helpfully enable you to live and breathe your passion.
It is never too late to start honoring yourself by living more authentically–by honoring your abilities and gifts–by doing, thinking, and saying the things that will elevate your social status, your personal relationships, and most importantly, by enhancing the relationship that you have with yourself.
It might be helpful, to realize that:
Love never has to be justified.
Happiness and joy require no justification.
Doing good work that benefits yourself and humanity never has to be justified.
The more good decisions you make, and the more positive actions you engage in, the less time you will spend in justifying your decisions to yourself or to others. You can talk yourself into self-fulfilling thoughts, deeds, and actions. You can give yourself permission to thrive. You can put your talents to work to make the world a better place. You can dare to dream and you can fulfill your dreams.
Something to ponder: what is really scarier: living your passion–or failing to live your passion?
In making important choices in life, you can ask yourself: “What can I do that is best for me and that simultaneously serves all those in my midst?”
You may be surprised to find that anytime you take action to serve your own highest good, that the highest good of everyone around you, and the highest good of humanity, is automatically served. You can keep it simple in your mind and heart: do what makes you happy for the long haul so that the long haul feels like a short, pleasant jaunt through time and space.