Thursday, February 7, 2013

Passion and Joy

What are you passionate about?

Coming out of a trying year, I'm excited that I've been feeling my passions again.

Passionate about healthy and natural foods.

Passionate about exercise.

Passionate about my church.

Passionate about my parenting.

Passionate about my faith.

Passionate about my fun.

Passionate about my marriage.

Passion was lacking in the past year.  There wasn't energy for it.  And if I did find a spark... life quickly took over and the spark died.

I've been trying to figure out the words on how I got my spark back, how I found my passions again.

I think facing the word "Depression" made a difference.  There had been physical signs of the stress - from my weight gain to my blood pressure and my dentist even noticed a difference in my gums.  I knew those physical signs were major indicators of a problem but I didn't feel like I could control the situation to make improvements.  But realizing that the stresses were impacting my mental health in a real way made it hit home.

I spent a lot of time praying last year.  My prayers weren't for a specific outcome.  But praying for strength and guidance and seeking happiness and things like that - those were my prayers.  I prayed for change.  I prayed for wisdom.  I prayed to be open to see opportunities.  I certainly wasn't always patient - but I was always faithful.

When I finally asked for help... for real help... something snapped inside.  If there was some way to sell it, to bottle it up, to make a pill that captures that snap... It was the same stuff I'd been telling myself all along.  "Things will get better."  "You can only do so much - know your limits."  "You have to take care of yourself first."  "It's ok to set limits."

But when the "snap" happened, all the words suddenly became reality.  I knew I had to truly take care of myself and set limits with my stressors.  To take care of myself, I had to change my diet and I had to get active again.  To set limits, I had to be okay with leaving at the end of the day without getting things done.

Almost one month after the "snap," changes actually happened at work.  Our department has been realigned, my job title has changed, I'm in a new department under a new boss, and my job has scope and focus (and limits).

What's most important is that I was already taking charge of me before the job changes happened.

I took charge of me.  Changes happened at work.  And my passion has returned.

Life can be full color, fueled by joy.


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