The Third Degree of Passion?

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

Who says I’m not passionate? I guess I did.

It’s a week for epiphanies, especially those of a very personal nature. I’m getting a chance to see myself through the eyes of others. We need that every now and then, to know how others see us. And we need to tell others, every now and then, how we see them (which, when I look at my friends, almost always includes “You don’t value yourself enough”). How others see us is a wonderful gauge sometimes for realizing how we see ourselves in a much harsher manner.

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

For example, here I am feeling a little ditzy because of what I think is fun to talk about is often derided or shrugged off or impossible to find conversation partners—and then after 5 hours of deep conversation about quantum physics, medicine, science, psychology, history, religion, sexuality, and politics, a man I respect for his intelligence and his abilities to manifest success tells me he thinks I’m far more intelligent than he is and it shocks me. In a pleasant way, but a surprise, still. This guy is certainly no slouch when it comes to mental talents or “success” as just about anybody would define it. If he’s putting me on a pedestal, then sheesh, he makes a great baseline.

It’s my own personal baselines that have shifted over the years, and some of them need reclaiming. In my lifetime, I’ve had several men tell me that I’m a passionate woman, that I’m probably the most passionate woman they’ve ever known. I’ve always laughed it off, somewhat uncomfortably. My passionate nature is the baseline to me, the zero, the neither positive nor negative. So to me, I don’t see myself as passionate…I’m just me. I’ve too often looked at others’ negative interpretation of my nature as “too emotional” and failed to see it for what it is.

So by my own gauge, I don’t recognize that my nature is different from that of so many others, and if I’m truly that passionate…as I’m beginning to believe I just might be…then it always makes me wonder how other women are and how distant and cold they must seem, and I cannot really fathom it.

But what I am coming to understand is this: I am a passionate woman—passionate about life, love, about everything. That makes some people uncomfortable. And some like it a lot. Instead of gauging my passion at zero for my own personal norm, I will henceforth recognize that on a more populated gauge, it’s high in the positive numbers.


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