Passion That Doesn’t Consume and Free Isn’t Worth Feeling

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree.

Midnight, and I’m trying to get a handle on passion. Metaphorically speaking. I think passion is too often scoffed at as simple romance and underrated unless it’s used as a synonym for sex. It is an undercurrent that can—and should—threaten the foundation of our lives because it should be the very fuel of life and ambition. It should be embraced on every front, the least of all physically.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

Years ago, my friend and colleague Barbara—whom I’ve not seen since before Aislinn was born—had a cartoon on her desk of a guy playing with his tinker toys and commenting that life without passion wasn’t worth living. She meant it as sarcastically as possible, but there was truth in it for me. Passion has always been a gauge for me to tell if I’m alive.

No matter how I’ve tried to deny it at times and sweep it under the rug at other times, passion is a must-have in my romantic relationships. That’s not passion as in fighting, either. It’s not even passion as in sex. It’s passion as in a stirring of intense energy that is a double-edged sword of vulnerability and an undeniably out-of-control zing.

What if someone arouses such intensity of passion in you? Then what? Do you let it run wild and rampant and threaten to destroy as well as transcend anything you’ve ever known? With such vulnerability and intensity comes a feeling of being out of control, and I think most people get nervous and look for a way to control it. They ignore it, they tamp it down, and they twist it into game-playing and manipulation of their partner whom they try to control so that that wildfire of passion can be controlled.

So which is more dangerous? Feeling the passion and admitting you feel it and that you don’t know what the hell to do with all that intensity? Or doing your best to control those edgy and obsessive feelings by controlling your partner and ultimately devolving into conflict and the destruction of the relationship? Or maybe just detaching and running away, ignoring the feelings so you don’t have to deal with them, even if they’re still there underneath.

Such deep, rich passion can transform and transcend, but if both partners aren’t willing to admit how vulnerable they feel with such strong energy between them, the passion turns to manipulation, anger, boxed-up coldness. The rewards of such passion are too great for two people not to be honest with each other.

That kind of honesty must come with a kind of communication that is rare, deep with few walls. It’s a level of merging with another person that I think very few ever know exist and even fewer ever achieve, and it is what… at some point in my life… I desire to have.

You can be safe in your lifelong pattern of self-protection and withdrawal or you can let the passion help you face the dark mirror and heal wounds you may have long forgotten. If not, then the coolness that your own actions forged by the intense need for self-protection have evoked may leave you lonely and wondering what happened to all the passion you’d hoped for. The passion helps to reach the emotional depths and there, in the mystical nature of it, there is unexpected healing.


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