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Friday, June 27, 2008

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Day 6

Today is the big day - the day we find passion. Now that we understand the difference between fearless and foolish (Day 5), we must turn our sights to passion. Not the kind of passion we feel toward our men, but the kind we find for ourselves.

Before your mind slips under the surface of that gutter of sludge, thinking all kinds of illicit thoughts about giving yourself passion, STOP. Let's talk a little about religion. We southerners know a thing or two about good old-time religion and can easily quote a few verses about it:

  • You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalms 16:11)
  • By standing firm, you will gain life. (Luke 21:19)
  • Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
  • What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul. (Matthew 16:26)

We sing songs like The Old Rugged Cross, Just as I Am, Amazing Grace, and How Great Thou Art. We lift more folks up in prayer at one time than Lou Ferigno could lift over his head with both arms raised. And when it comes to casseroles for the home bound, we've got 'em in the oven.

Why is it, then, that we're always trying, through bible studies, women's groups, Christian couples classes to get closer to God? Continually seeking, yet, each time, somehow coming up short, disappointed. Why?

Most likely because we haven't found our passion. Nothing brings a woman (or a man, for that matter), closer to God than finding and following her passion, because it is her one intended purpose, who she is, why God put her in this place in this time, how she will fulfill her calling, her conduit for changing the world. It is her destiny. It completes her. It defines her. It brings her ultimate joy.

A passion is more than a hobby. A hobby keeps our hands busy, fills our time, like knitting or crossword puzzles. But a passion is something a person does because she can't help it. And the reason many of us haven't found our passion yet is that we know how powerful it is. We fear giving ourselves over to it, being swept away by it, being consumed. It's inconvenient to our neat and tidy plan for each day.

But to truly live the fearless life, we must give in to it, whatever it is. And it could be anything - bee keeping, bird watching, decorating, organizing, sewing, selling, sorting, furniture rearranging, fashion, rock climbing, cleaning, writing, reading, cattle roping, snorkeling, cycling, flower arranging, gardening, kick boxing, bottle collecting . . . the possibilities are endless.

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: Find your passion. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 until you have identified it - that one thing that is THE THING for you! Answer the following questions to get yourself headed down the path of self-discovery:

  • What are your natural talents?
  • What are you driven to do?
  • What are your interests?
  • If you had to give up all activities but one, which one would you keep?
  • If you were alone on a deserted island, what's the one thing you would want to have with you, other than your toothbrush or lipstick?

Now review your responses. You should have a good variety. It's time to sort through them to flesh out your passion. It is NOT your passion, IF

  • You want to do it because it looked cool when someone in a movie, TV show, or book did it.
  • You think you should do it because your husband or children expect you to do it.
  • You feel guilty, like you let someone else down, if you don't do it.
  • Your mother told you to do it.
  • It feels like a burden when you're doing it or thinking about doing it.
  • It embarrasses you.
  • It feels cumbersome and unnatural.
  • You do it because a friend(s) does it.
  • You do it to fit in with a particular group.
  • You do it for shock value.
  • You do it to prove something to someone else.
  • You do it because it's easier than doing anything else.
  • You do it because you can't think of anything else to do.

When you've found your TRUE PASSION, you will know because

  • You get in a bad mood when you can't do it.
  • You lose track of time and place when you're doing it.
  • You feel your brain shift to a more creative side when you're doing it.
  • You would do it, even if your mother disapproved.
  • You think about it all the time.
  • You seek ways to do it better.
  • You want to share it with the world.
  • It challenges you.
  • You feel like you've accomplished something when you do it.
  • You almost feel like you're bragging when you tell other people about it.

Get started. You're almost there. Good luck!

Day 7 - Making Comparisons

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