Somewhere in that shuffle of marriage,of being a wife or husband, of being a husband or mother, in the middle of parenting in a mindful way….dreams we once had often seem so distant. Our dreams before we had children may also now seem irrelevant because we have shifted and grown as human beings. We may no longer know what dream we have outside of parenting, putting food on the table, homeschooling. How do we discover our current passion? What could we be working on that is just ours alone? If we discover a passion and then we want time alone to pursue that, is that selfish and not to be had in this season of life?
I think it is okay to have a passion not related to your children or your marriage. These passions and desires make you who you are, and also show your evolution and your growth as a human being throughout these cycles. Your children will not be under the age of 9 forever, and yes, they will need your presence still, but you will be able to garner a bit more time.
What is your passion right now? What is really interesting to you? If you cannot think of what your passion outside of your own family might be, what is it that really breaks your heart?
That sounds so incredibly odd, doesn’t it? What breaks my heart? Really, what kind of question is that?
It is just that sometimes I find the very thing that you see that breaks your heart turns out the biggest way you can contribute to your community, to your friends, to the people who need whatever experience or passion you have to offer. In the words of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, “The hurt that we embrace becomes our joy.”
You all can probably guess my passion; my passion is to build connected families, to encourage strong marriages, for parents to connect with their children and to understand normal development across the human arc so they can educate and parent and gently guide in the most optimal way so their children can grow up into healthy adults. I get to this through my traditional medical background, through the seven year cycles and three and four fold human being and the twelve sense, through attachment parenting and gentle discipline and through Waldorf Education. If you look at my “About” page, you will see the total mishmash of Things That Make Up Carrie. And for years, I had absolutely no idea how any of that could fit together and help me or anyone else.
Maybe you are a bit like me; wondering what this chapter of your life holds outside of parenting and thinking, hmm, in twenty years or so when my children are gone, what will I be doing? That is an interesting question!
So what is your passion? What breaks your heart? What brings you the most joy? What do people say you are really, really good at? Probably in that realm is where you will find your passion and ignite your dream.
One thing to me that is vital in discovering this passion is having your own time each day to SIT QUIETLY. This is time for your own inner work, your own time to see if you can hear that small, still voice. For me, this is the time I use to read the Bible, to encourage myself when I feel low or down, my time to pray and try to discern what I need to hear. To discern what is essential. When is your quiet time, and what do you do during your quiet time? I would love to know; please do leave me a comment and share!
So, my final suggestion is to grab that wonderful sketchbook and do some writing or drawing. Set a timer for ten minutes and just write what comes into your mind. It may surprise you what dreams are lying right under the surface…