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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Occasional Bursts of Passion Revisited

PASSION -a fervent or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; experience of strong love or sexual desire. [Passion Week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Let us talk about "strong love or sexual desire" shall we?  The other day,  I was chatting with my sister and she mentioned that she thought it might not be advisable to actually conjure PASSION in one's life because the word can mean to actually lose one's self and be affected by or compelled by something outside of yourself. Case in point how the story of Christ's last days on earth are called The Passion and is the saga of how outside forces compelled all the players in his story to act. I told her that I thought I was avoiding any issues with this type of passion by being clear about the passion I am considering and providing the definition of my type of Passion in each post (see my definition under the header this week) but I have to admit she has gotten me to think. 

The type of love and sexual passion that consumes many romance novels and is idealized seems to have an inordinate dose of the type of passion with which my sister was concerned. Some unhealthy relationships begin here and develop into full blown obsessions. When I first considered my love relationship on the Passionate Love Scale here  designed by Elaine Hatfield, Phd., Psychology University of Hawai'i I was a bit disappointed that I ended up "Occasional Bursts of Passion" rather then "Wildly, Recklessly in Love." Somehow the latter seemed so much more romantic...

Here is that post revisited:

I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy.  I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die.  I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports.... When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.  
~Gustave Flaubert, letter to wife Louise Colet, 15 August 1846

Wow! When I read the quote above,  I realize that in addition to giving little attention to the "experience of strong love or sexual desire" part of my definition this week,  I have light years to travel before I could ever make such a statement myself! I adore my husband but clearly there are reaches of passion we have not attained! As I consider such rapture I find it likely that you are in the same situation. My Daily life just doesn't hold much room for this expression.

Are you "Wildly, recklessly, in love" or are you "Occasional bursts of passion" like me? Find out how your relationship rates on thePassionate Love Scale here  designed by Elaine Hatfield, Phd., Psychology University of Hawai'i,  who conducts research on the Neuropsychology of Passion. Additional Passion Scales are available on her web site... simple and interesting! 

Dr. Adam Sheck over at the Passion 101 website would attribute my middle of the road passion rating to not integrating passionate rituals into our every day lives. We ritually brush our teeth, feed the dog, open the mail etc. etc. but more then likely we have forgotten to include romantic and passionate ones. I read somewhere once that if we just took thirty seconds longer with each hello and goodbye kiss it could transform a relationship. Thirty seconds! Why the heck haven't I been taking that time for that? Are our lives that busy that I can't spend thirty seconds more kissing the man I love? Ridiculous! I'm starting today! How about you? What ritual could you add to amp up the passion in your relationship?

Dr. Sheck offers, for free, what he calls a  Special Report on 20 Rituals For Romance“ where he outlines 20 simple things that can be easily added to your routine and will enhance your relationship.
Here is a little sample:
  • Toast each other when you sit down to dinner.  It doesn't need to be with champagne or wine, even a glass of water or iced tea will do. Tell your partner something you love about him or her and then drink to it!   
  • Set aside something each day for your partner.   It might be a magazine article you read during your commute, a link to a website you came across, or even a story you heard at the office.  They will appreciate that you took a moment to think of them during he course of your day.  
  • Dress up for your partner!   Let him or her see you at your best.  It's ironic that we dress up to meet total strangers but we let ourselves go around our nearest and dearest.  We love to see our mate in attractive outfits, in well fitting clothes and perhaps with a hint of a favorite fragrance. Keeping up our appearance is simple but so important for our own self-esteem as well! (Get Dr. Sheck's complete list of 20 Rituals Here) 
I downloaded the complete list. They are all simple things to do that can make passion and romance a priority. I'm going to try a couple this week!

And about that thirty extra seconds on a kiss -- I'm also going to make that worth my time!


I still think that amping up the passion in my relationship is fun and important. I love the idea of integrating passionate rituals in my everyday life but I am no longer disappointed in my "Occasional Bursts of Passion" distinction. I could see kicking things up a notch to "More then Occasional Bursts of Passion" but I will happily leave "Wildly, Recklessly in Love" to the romance novels.

How about you? Where are you on the Passion scale? Are you happy with that? What are you going to do to celebrate your passion today?

Next Post: Final Passionate thoughts for the week.

Have something to say about Passion? 
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My 13 bliss virtues are  
 [Click on any virtue to see all the Everyday 
Bliss Posts on the topic.]
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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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