Find Your Passion

“I would rather die from passion than from boredom.” Vincent Van Gogh

One of the greatest things to do when you are suffering from any invisible illness is to distract yourself with your passion. We all have different passions and if you have not yet found yours, start looking. If you have been reading my blog you probably know my passions: writing, running, yoga, nutrition, holistic medicine, reading, and now that I have a daughter finding my inner child. I am passionate about being silly and fun and having a two year old allows me to do that without looking crazy and even if it did I truly do not care: its my life.

Having gone through brain surgery and chronic pain taught me so much and those lessons will never leave me. Life is about finding your passions, not settling, and being happy. We take the little things for granted so quickly it breaks my heart. The biggest event in our lives happen quickly and we never remember days, we remember moments. It took me almost thirty years to truly find myself and what I want out of this world and what it all comes down to is passion and happiness.

Following my run this morning I (shockingly) went to my Wa Wa for my coffee and a complete stranger walked up to me and asked if I was a personal trainer. Years ago I taught fitness classes and personal trained and I loved it! This was in between my life as a social worker. The woman who asked me this gave me very generous compliments but that is not why I offered to help her get in shape pro bono (always wanted to use that term like lawyers do but never had the chance, sounds cool though.) I offered to help her for free because she lit something up inside of me that I forgot about: passion. There is no better way to forget about your struggles whether that be your illness, chronic pain, or just your life circumstances than to do something you love. People who suffer with chronic pain have an extremely hard time not focusing on the pain non stop. I did for years: it consumed my life. Most of my readers are not in a good place in their journey with chronic pain and that is why I am writing this blog. If you are reading this right now and are having a difficult time, do something you love. We all have passions that are all so different: find yours. You have one or ten, I promise.

Life can end so quickly. Living your life for yourself and finding what you love is not selfish. I love being a mother, I love my passions, I love that I am able to help people. We complicate our lives so much with worries and fears about our past and future that we forget to just shut our brains off and listen to our hearts. We all just want to be happy and none of us should settle for anything less. Nothing worth having in this world comes easy: nothing. Look at me: I spent years of my life following my accident looking for a cure to my pain until I learned that I could live with it without treatment or medications. That was not and is still not easy but oh my God is it worth it!

Do what you need to do to be happy and never settle for anything ordinary. Most of you reading this have chronic pain or some invisible illness. I know what you are going through and I know there are days and hours when you want to give up. Do not do it. If you have taken none of my advice for the past year please take a little time to find what you are passionate about. Because that will be your greatest distraction from your pain. You are allowed to be happy, you really are. If you do not want to take advice from an amazing artist who unfortunately had some issues as he did cut his ear off, take it from me.

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Find Your Passion

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8 thoughts on “Find Your Passion

  1. I totally agree, and am glad you blogged this. When I have break-through pain, what always helps me is doing art. It is the one way I can get away from the pain. I’m at a stage in life where I don’t really care about selling my art and chasing after that version of success. So, I’m finding places to donate my art to charitable causes.

  2. Samuel says:

    Love that you were able to finally use “pro bono” 😉
    I think for some (at least for me) feel that some of the things that we were passionate about have been taken from us b/c of chronic pain. This happened to me w/ many things I loved such as duck hunting, fishing, skiing, motorcycling (dirt bikes), camping, and several more as I was very much an outdoor enthusiast & very active but after a failed back surgery many of these things became nearly impossible. I still try to do some of them but doing them as I used to, sometimes alone or w/ little to no help, has changed. I no longer ski and fishing, duck hunting, sailing, camping, etc- require a lot of help & someone else ends up doing almost everything for me & that makes it harder to enjoy. I also am an artist & even that has changed some b/c I can’t quite get as lost painting for hours on end but I still love to paint & just have to be careful about how long &/or be prepared for the consequences. the resolution to this is as many things w/ chronic pain a compromise. The real trick is focussing on the things I can do & not letting myself feel defeated for needing help or having spikes in pain afterwards. I still struggle w/ focussing on my abilities & not feeling guilty or weak for needing help at times but I’m getting better at it. I think sometimes I get so mired by my struggles that I forget how lucky I am to still be able to do a lot of the things I still can. It’s easy to get tripped up but we need to keep trying to follow our passions & push beyond our limitations & try new things even if we’re afraid pain might temporarily spike. Hobbies can quickly turn to passion & it’s so important to find ways to enjoy our lives. One thing chronic pain has taught me is to really live in the moment & take pleasure in small things. This post was a good reminder to me to keep pursuing my passions & always be looking for more things that bring inspiration & enjoyment to our lives.

  3. Samuel says:

    It would be nice to see what other people w/ chronic pain our passionate about &/or see some suggestions of things people could do that are possibly low-impact or not but some ideas for people looking for places to pour their energies.

    -for instance-
    Painting, drawing, photography, writing, caligraphy, paper-making, ceramics, carving, textiles(clothing, rugs), fishing, movies, some carpentry, models, hiking, camping, biking, cooking, BLOGGING!!, gardening, cooking, wine/beer making, scrap booking, crafts, etc… Sometimes it helps to hear what others are doing or just get some ideas for things to try.

  4. My passion is Taekwondo, been doing it for 12 years black belt for 7, train 6 times a week for 2 hours each time. Doesn’t help my pain levels but gives me a much needed distraction away from the pain that I almost don’t notice it’s there. I look forward to going every evening because of that and hate Tuesdays when there’s no training!

  5. Samuel says:

    I imagine Taekwondo must be really rewarding. You get exercise, discipline, knowledge, self-defense, self confidence and many other ways for self improvement not to mention the coordination and control over your body you attain. What a commitment to do that for 12yrs, that must make you feel proud as hell.

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