Passionate Life

I am reading Why Your Life Sucks by Alan H. Cohen for the second time, a rarity for me. That tells you how good the book is, not how much my life sucks. He points out how people fear their passions. Rather than letting our passions dictate how we live our lives, we repress them out of fear that if they were allowed free reign we would go on a spree of raping and plundering. This is a totally wrong headed view, but it is the predominant view, at least in this part of the world and probably world wide. Therefore, one of the biggest cultural, religious and political fronts in the culture wars is around sex. Who can have sex with whom, under what conditions, what can we do to avoid unwanted side effects and God knows, what should we teach our children about it.

However, a healthy expression of passion is the best antidote to raping and plundering. It is the unhealthy repression of passions that leads persons to rape and plunder. When the passions are repressed, they manifest in unhealthy ways. When they are expressed in healthy, loving ways, we become more kind, loving and compassionate to all persons. When persons are crushed by poverty and raised in dysfunctional families where they don’t get the love and nurturing they need, they are more likely to become criminals. When persons are taught that sex is bad and really all forms of sensual pleasure are bad because we may offend an angry God, their sexuality and sensuality take on unhealthy expressions whether it is priests engaging in pedophilia or women engaging in unhealthy eating habits.

So as you think about new year’s resolutions, be kind to yourself. Think about how you can let your passions guide you. What you are passionate about is often a sign of what you were put here on earth to do. Nurture your passions for creativity, love, sex, pleasure, peace, serenity, security, charity, justice, self expression, and whatever else turns you on in healthy ways. Seek self fulfillment, not self denial. Imagine what a perfect life would be like rather that tweaking this and that.

Peace, love and joy,

Steve


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