What's Your Passion in Life?

Maybe it started when I got older, when I began to actually like who was and what I stood up for, but it took a long time. I don't mean it in a narcissistic type of way, however I completely stopped caring about what other people thought of me. Don't get me wrong -- if you tell me I have a little schmutz on the corner of my mouth, I'm gonna run to the bathroom and wash it off. I'm gonna kinda care about that. But I wonder if it has anything to do with the partner I picked in life. My wife is the most beautiful person inside and out. She also tends to lie to me if I ask her if a certain pair of jeans look ok on me. And that's....ok. She's one of the most honest, caring and loving person I know, despite the lie about my new jeans. I wonder how I would be today, if I was with a person that was super critical and downright mean. I know a few girlfriends of mine who are with men who tear them apart, whether be it how they do things or what they look like. In my personal opinion, it all boils down to insecurity issues. If your spouse is insecure about themselves, they'll psychologically project that onto you, so that you'll feel the way they do. And that's just a known fact. I am so glad I found somebody who loves themselves unconditionally, so that she can love me the same way.

If there's one thing I can't shake, is my lack of trust for certain people who have verbally attacked me right down to my very core. And if you know me well enough, you know how forgiveness plays a huge role in my life. I would love to say that I "forgive and forget" -- but the forgetting part is extremely hard for me. It shows in different ways. Like, if a friend tore me apart 2, 4, 7 or even 10 years ago, I may not be able to trust them fully, so I would most likely have very surfaced conversations with them, not delving into topics that may leave me vulnerable. Another thing I have found that I do with these types of people is that I don't share my social media with them as well. Maybe I'll let them view "certain" public postings of mine, but not the private ones I share with my close friends. I always feel like they're judging me, even though they say they're not, the words that echoed in the past tells me they still are. And I can't shake it. God tells me to forgive completely, which means forgetting -- so am I not forgiving them enough? I rarely think about the wrongdoings of the past, but I guess subconsciously, words can cause a lifetime of scarring. So when I think about sharing personal information with someone who tore my character apart, I just can't seem to do it. My own conscience won't let me. Or maybe it's just a safeguard.

My go-to pain reliever.
So now my question remains: do I still care about what other people think of me? My knee-jerk reaction is, "no way" -- but for certain people, maybe so? But most importantly, I am very happy about the person I have turned into, the work that I do and the people I have literally chosen to be apart of my life. My primary focus, even before I start my day is GOD. My prayer and meditation time is super important for me. If I skip a day, I feel 'off' -- like I didn't have my morning coffee. And maybe that's another reason why I feel so good, even much better than I did when I was in my twenties: my constant communication with God. It has taught me so much and has given me a sense of strength and endurance. I'm still human and get weak from time to time, but overall, my reactions to things I don't particularly care for in life has changed dramatically. I've also cut many people out of my life because it wasn't a fruitful relationship, or didn't serve any purpose other than negativity and drama, which can ultimately rub off on you.

When things service no purpose in your life, or if they serve some sort of negative purpose in your life, as the Bible states, cut it off. It doesn't mean you have to be nasty about it or make someone feel bad, but some people can cause you to feel bad about yourself, or feel less loved, especially if it's a family member. And remember, if someone doesn't want you around, then by all means, give them your absence in every way. Show them what it feels like to live a life without YOU in it. And if they're OK with it -- then you have your answer. I always believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. But once someone shows you their true colors, believe it. If someone wants to truly be in your life, you will hear from them, seem them more frequently and realize their sincerity. Actions speak louder than words.

Many people are very unhappy in their "grownup lives" and resent others for fulfilling their dreams and/or going against the grain that society had set for them. They gave up on their passions to fulfill their new family's passions (which is ultimately a very selfless act of course). But once you lose yourself entirely, you're going to sense a huge lack. I can think up so many scenarios that I have heard from the people I know. For instance, one of my girlfriends told me she always wanted to be a writer or a poet, but because of her hectic schedule and lack of time, she's unable to make time to be creative. The "more important" things have taken center stage. One of my guy friends wanted to travel around the world and be a professional photographer. In the 'art world' -- as they call us, 'starving artists' -- this wasn't feasible anymore since he started a family and had to work at his father's company to make a decent kind of living. Totally realistic outcome. Now he has zero time for himself, no less for his wife and three kids. He became a workaholic, especially when the company was given to him after many years later. Eventually, he lost his passion, and everything went digital. Money was most important, because he needed to provide for his family. But I wonder if he still dreams of his passions as a photographer. He captured some amazing things with his 35mm camera. He developed his own photos -- that's how he "edited" them. What a lost art. And I'm certain that if he had chosen the 'starving artist' route, he would have learned new technology, as well as filmography and other awesome techniques that would've captured his view of the world. Maybe in another lifetime.

They say that if you love what you do in life, it no longer becomes a job. That's pretty hard to do if you start working for a company for just the money. But sometimes we need to do that. I did that for many years -- stuck in the corporate world that left me feeling empty. I was lucky enough to get out of it and get into something that fit my life, and that filled the void of being creative again. The money didn't come for quite some time. I thought it never would. And then one day -- it was just as if someone just took notice and I was on my way to making a living off something I did naturally, if something that I truly loved doing. And that to me is like winning the lotto. I'm not rich, but I have everything I need. I feel emotionally balanced because I have all of these outlets to turn to. My writing, my guitar and songwriting, my art, my videography and many other fun things that I love to do. I have incorporated all of them into my life, and in time, it enabled me to make a living doing that. Many authors and columnists trust me to edit their hard work, and I am so honored to do so. I have ghostwritten for quite a few authors and bloggers and still remain one of the top blogs for requests to get link placements (which are hyperlinks into a word) which are very pricey. So if I get a request, it's usually 4 link placements or more, which are $50 bucks each. Side income that takes less than 2 minutes to do.

My point of all that rambling on is, many people love to judge my life according to what I do for a living, saying that it's "not a real job". But after almost 10 years of doing this, it has caught momentum, to where my income was much more than sitting at IBM crunching numbers. I get to stay home, and I also get to cook dinner for my family and do other things of interest. I couldn't be happier. People tend to think of "work" as a means to make money -- and that's it -- a job you go to for 8-12 hours that you absolutely detest. No. That's a life sentence of being a prisoner in my opinion. And if that's what you have to do -- that is your choice, or perhaps not a choice, but nonetheless, nothing that should be judged on both ends. There are many people who think that if someone works at home, then they're not really working at all. Well thank God for that, because doing what I do and loving what I do no longer becomes a "job". So no, I don't have a "job" -- I have a passion for life. Once I fully accepted this, I no longer felt the need to jump back into the rat race. I accepted my lot in life, and because of that, I accepted ME.

We're trying to move so fast in this world to get to one ultimate destination: 6 feet under. Whatever you do, whether it be a CEO of a major corporation, a teacher, an accountant, a doctor, an artist, a musician, an unemployed disabled person, we all have one place we all meet at: heaven. So why judge one another's lot in life when we can all be appreciating the many aspects of this awesome society?

"The true profession of man is to find his way to himself." --Hermann Hesse

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!