The word “passion” can evoke so many other thoughts: purpose, destiny, a sense of belonging, and giving. One of my favorite quotes is “love what you do and do what you love,” by Ray Bradbury. In recovery, we are often giving up something we were once passionate about: our drug of choice. Our use offered us comfort when we were lonely or sad, energy when we felt dull, or fulfillment when our everyday needs were not met. In becoming sober, we have removed that piece that helped us feel whole, even if our feelings were only temporary. We need to find new meaning in life; we need to get passionate again—with something that fuels our souls without depleting us.
Passion comes up often in sessions and groups. Where do we begin? I encourage us to be curious and start to ask ourselves some questions. Sometimes just journaling, discussing with other like-minded people, a career coach, or even a life coach can help us find the answers we are looking for. When do we feel our best? What did we love to do as children? What do we value in ourselves and others? When do we feel alive? What inspiration, idea, or vision keeps coming to us, that we deny? Who inspires us? What do we want to be known for? If we could do anything without restrictions, what would we do and why?
It’s more than just thinking thoughts though; the next part is action. We need to get out there and experiment with some ideas. Those of us who love to dance can go to a dance class and see how we feel. What if we always wanted to be runners but never thought we could? We can download running apps and start making small strides every day. Do we like to help others or volunteer? Does it spark meaning for us? Do we enjoy it? We have to do more of what we love. Something didn’t jive with us? That’s okay. We can keep experimenting and trying new thing. Eventually, something will stick.
The last piece, I believe, is trying things that scare us or maybe are just out of the ordinary for us. Afraid of heights? Get up there on that ropes course! Those of us who are uncomfortable with being alone can go to dinner, a movie, or a museum by ourselves. We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. For every challenge or apprehension we have and overcome, we become stronger and more confident that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to. Happy Exploring!