Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Selflessness With a Purpose

"If you want to get out alive
oh-oh, run for your life.

If I stay it won't be long
Till I'm burning on the inside
If I go I can only hope
That I make it to the other side

If you want to get out alive
oh-oh, run for your life."
~ Three Days Grace

The other night, I finally began to release some of the emotional energy I've been unable to release for months, by venting on my sister, who listened more patiently than I could have asked. It's mostly because I'm beginning the process of becoming an adult. I'll be 18 by August, which in itself carries new and foreign responsibility. I'll be attending a college where I expect I will be required to read books I can't stand as well as memorize facts and processes and systems I consider unimportant. I have yet to attain my driver's license, when in no way do I enjoy driving. A large part of me wants to become a 5-year-old again, and remain there. The small part of me that wants to be excited about moving into adulthood knows I'm terrified, and that I want to run. I feel like I need to run. This is how I run: with words and ideas.

The questions I find myself repeating: Seriously, why can I not remain like a five-year-old? Why can't everyone? Why am I expected to grow in a way that will enable me to find a place in this lightning-paced, specialized, pre-packaged, man-made, materialistic, empty monstrosity of a business world whose only goal is "progress", change? It can't be constant, its only aim is itself, it cannot stand, it will not last. I hate it with a furious passion, as I demonstrated with words and volume for my sister. But instead of searching for the answers to begin living, I found myself loudly ranting about what I see and believe has gone wrong, and everyone involved.

I attempted to justify branching off the point in such a way by stating that even though it's too late to erase the present problem, maybe if its cause can be discovered it can be prevented from happening again in the future.

But I crossed the fine line between prudent search with words to angry, blind, directionless stumble when I decided the cause deserved more attention than the solution. When I decided to tear down what I don't believe in, instead of building something better.

Since this release, I have read something that made me question everything I claim is bothering me, because I'm not quite ready to admit what is really going on. I have been wrong. The article I read ended with this quote:

" 'You love your work. God help you, you love it! And that's the curse. That's the brand on your forehead for all of them to see… The substance of them is hatred for any man who loves his work. That's the only kind they fear.'

It's better to be true than to be cool. Be yourself. Do what you love. "

~ "The Only Kind They Fear"

There's something to be said for passion. Even passion for something I don't necessarily agree with. Because passion means turning yourself inside-out, giving everything you have to something or someone you believe in, without considering the cost to yourself. True passion means selflessness with a purpose. Materialism is dangerous because it directs passion toward self-satisfaction before anything or anyone else. It's true deception. Materialism is the snare I feel is the strongest, it is the one I fear most.

I don't agree with many things I see people do and the way I see many people live. What I do and the way I live probably seem totally illogical to them as well. But I believe that every person is more important than I will ever understand. If one person is truly passionate about anything - if they purely and truly love something - I can't hate it.

So yes, I am afraid. I fight this fear with apathy. I'm afraid of not reaching goals, so I don't let myself dream - I can't feel disappointment when I never hoped. I'm afraid of screwing up my life, so I depend on other people as much as possible - I won't feel as responsible when I fail. I'm afraid of failing, so I don't try - I can't fail where I don't attempt to succeed.

I fight my fear with apathy, and I am defeated before I begin. I'm defeated by myself. Apathy does not destroy fear, apathy feeds fear. Passion destroys fear.

I'm growing up. It is not an overnight process, though it sometimes seems overwhelming. The only way I see to the other side is accepting life (the highs and lows alike), taking it as it comes, savoring every moment, allowing myself to grow every day, trusting that I am growing straight. Not running. My plan is to take each day by itself, and constantly do my best. Consistency will demand discipline, discipline will demand sacrifice, sacrifice will develop into passion, God willing. I'll feel lost in a blur of continual movement, and fear will flee the organized madness that will be my life. I am not ready for this, but peace never followed calm. Fires cannot start in motion.

I am not only escaping burning on the inside, I am not looking to get out just alive. I am finding purpose in self-sacrifice. I will be forfeiting the innocence of youth, leaping, and actively hoping.


Passion. For what?

"No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear."
~ Edmund Burke

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