Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lacking Passion

Sometimes, when I'm stuck and don't know where to begin, especially on such a hard topic that's been weighing on me lately, I find that it's easier to begin with a definition.  So, here goes.

Passion (as according to Merriam-Webster) is defined as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

My definitions? Excitement about something you enjoy.  Motivation to do the things you love.  The drive to pursue your interests, your passions.

So, you can see how lacking passion can make life difficult, especially on someone like me, who thrives on being passionate for things I enjoy.

I mentioned in my last post that lacking passion was the main reason for my avoidance in blogging for the last month.  Yes, a lot of it was brought on my laziness, and I'm trying to do several things to combat that and get back on track.  Deleting those apps off my phone was a big one.  But it doesn't just solve everything.  It helped - for a day.  But there can't be just one easy solution to fix a growing problem.

And with a lack in passion, feeling disappears as well.  It's nice, not feeling.  Sadly, over the last few weeks, I came to enjoy it.  It makes life easier.  It spares you pain and letdown.  And, it's also relieved me of school and college application related stress, which definitely has been nice.

But the reason why this is such a problem is because feeling is what makes us human.  Certainly, it was easier, to give in and just feel nothing.  To stop fighting to live and feel.  It was less of a roller coaster, for sure.  But in those few weeks, so much was stripped from me.

First off, love was taken, and I think that was the worst of all.  I have an incredible boyfriend.  He's such a man of God, and he's been close to my heart for a while now.  During these last few weeks, it's been a fight to feel.  Fortunately, I believe that love is a choice, and that you can hold on, even through times lacking passion, and so we've made it through those days where I simply couldn't feel a thing.  I still knew why I loved him.  But I didn't feel those strong, passionate feelings of love.  And that was hard.

Not only that, I've fallen into many dark places lately, and pushed him away.  I didn't want to listen to the same wise advice, to pray, to read my Bible.  Not only have I pushed him out, but I pushed God out as well.

Sometimes, we silly humans have a way of denying ourselves of exactly what we need.  I have made so many excuses these last few months about not praying or not having my quiet time every day.  And it's come back to attack me.

I believe in spiritual warfare.  I believe Satan can, and will attack us.  I realized a month ago, that if I gave up, fell into laziness, and lost passion, that life was easier, because he stopped attacking me.  And why should he?  I'm not a threat right now.  I'm not actively seeking God.  I'm putting aside things I need to be doing and falling into temptation.  Satan doesn't need to attack me.  I've fallen far enough on my own.

See, the second I start fighting to feel again, the second I start trying is when he fights back, harder.  After about three to four days with no results that I can see, I give up, and fall back to this easy, unpassioned place.  Because at least there, I'm not under attack.  I'm let be.  It's easy.  Key word there.

The other thought on my mind lately parallels this closely: do the hard things. That's come up a lot, and I can't say that I've succeeded in that at all, especially not in this, because it's easy to give up.  This idea also applies to other things in my life, but those are other topics, for another time.

The second thing that not feeling took away from me was enjoyment for the things I love.  For many years now, I have been a writer, and I'm currently in the middle of editing the book I wrote last year.  It's a story I love, but I just haven't put the work in, because I haven't felt like it.  That's what lacking passion does to you - it makes you have no desire to do the things you enjoy.  This also goes for things like reading - I haven't read a book for fun in months - and running, which no longer seems so enjoyable, and rather that I'm always forcing myself.

In everything, I have lost passion.

And it's time to change.  Time to keep fighting, longer than four days.  Time to seek God first, and to maybe, just maybe feel again.

I know this was more of a personal speech, but this has been troubling me for a while, and cumulated today.  I decided that, if I put it out on the internet, where anyone can see, maybe I can spur a change in my heart.

I'm not ashamed of my struggles.  After all, I'm only human.  My prayer will be that I open up my heart again, and let these feelings back in.  Time for unrelenting pursuit of God.  Time for once again, living and loving with my whole heart.

Time for passion.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Four Apps I'm Deleting Off My Phone

First off, yes, I know it's been a month since I posted.  That wasn't my original goal, at all, but it's been a difficult last month and I couldn't force it out.  The main reason why I haven't posted is due to a lack of passion.  I'll write more about that later, as it is a serious topic that I'd like to analyze in writing, but for tonight, as I'm still trying to get over the hump, I want to focus on a simple topic - something I'm doing to help myself move on from this lack of passion, brought on my laziness.

My phone can be my downfall sometimes.  I'm not the kind of person who is always on my phone; however, when I have free time, that's usually where you'll find me - laying on the couch, doing something on my phone.  I don't see texting as a bad thing - at least it's social - but I'm talking about useless things that in no way contribute to my life or happiness.  I've tried to find satisfaction in them, but they always fail me, and lead to wasted time.

So, without further ado, my list of apps that I've deleted off my phone.

1. Facebook

I took this plunge about three weeks ago.  I love Facebook.  I really do.  It's a nice, easy way to stay connected with relatives and friends.  I really have nothing against it.  And more than that, I'm not judging anyone who spends a lot of time on there.  If it's your thing, sure, go for it.  It just became an issue for me.

There's a problem when I spend an hour laying in one place scrolling through Clean Funny Pictures and avoiding things like editing my book or playing the piano.  Things I truly love doing!  I've lost passion for some of those things though, because it's just easier to avoid and do mind-numbing things, like scrolling through Facebook.

So, if I want to get on Facebook, I have to use my computer.  This has helped considerably.  I check Facebook once or twice a day, for about fifteen minutes.  It's certainly a lot healthier, and I know that I'm a lot happier because of it.

2. YouTube

This is a HUGE one, that I did just today.  And this is the one that I think will benefit me the most.

I'm not even talking about the content of YouTube videos, although yes, that can be a problem.  I'm talking about the sheer amount of time that YouTube consumes.  I don't see anything wrong with watching the new video from one of my favorite channels once or twice.  But, it's easy to pull up one short video and get sucked in.  It goes back to the Facebook thing.  It becomes an addiction, and that's when it's a problem.

I realized after an hour and a half on YouTube today, following over an hour yesterday, watching videos that I don't even care about or have already seen several times before, that it's become a problem.  So, I need to make it less accessible to me.

Goodbye, YouTube app.  Again, if I need to view a video, I can get on my computer, but that makes it more of a hassle, and I won't be compelled to waste so much time on there.

3. Candy Crush Saga

At level 365, this game stopped being fun.  Yet, I still felt compelled to obsessively play it while watching TV, instead of doing something healthier.

Like, tonight, while watching the new Heartland, I painted my nails.  Maybe it wasn't productive, but it was definitely more calming than getting frustrated over some silly game.  I used to knit or draw or practice Gallifreyan writing (yes, I know, I'm a huge nerd) while I watched TV.  And now, I've turned to TV and video games at the same time.  It's not healthy.

Also, there's the temptation to spend money to beat that one annoyingly impossible level.  So, bye Candy Crush!  Time to replace you with things I actually enjoy!

4. InstaFollowers

This may be sort of a stupid one.  I know.  But it's something that I've used for a while now, and lately I've realized just how silly it really is.

Basically, it tracks whoever unfollows you on instagram, and who isn't following you back and such.

First off.  How self-centered is this?!  Why does it matter who unfollows me?  The day I start obsessing over how many followers I have is the day I have lost myself to social media.  And I refuse to let that happen.  So, I'm taking the steps now to save myself from falling into that place.

If you want to unfollow me, go right ahead.  I'm sure my outdoor pictures from work, my piano videos, my selfies, and shots of my homework must get old.  I won't take any offense.  Because, that's kind of a silly thing to take offense about.  Most of the time I never notice if people unfollow me, anyway.  As it should be.

So there you have it.  My list of apps I'm keeping off my phone, at least for this next year.  If, in the future, I decide I can handle Facebook again, it might come back, (the others I don't really care about) but for now, I'm content having my phone free from those time-sucking apps.  My phone has a pitifully low number of apps.  But I like it that way.  And besides, I can fill it up with pictures instead...

Are there any apps that are keeping you captive?  If so, I encourage you to delete them, no matter how fun they may seem.  It's freeing, to click that X on the corner of the app, and watch that addiction slide away to oblivion.

My prayer for the next few days will be asking God to reclaim my time, to focus it back on Him and the things I love.  To remove these distractions.  To live the life I was meant to live.

Thank you God, for blessing me with so much time.  Let me use it for your glory, and not for trying to satisfy myself.  Give me strength, as I attack the future with passion, instead of laziness.  Let my every action serve you.