August 8 – Enthusiasm 

Enthusiasm can be a breath of fresh air. How refreshing it is when we encounter someone who proudly and unabashedly expresses their enthusiasm without a care for what others think. As adults, we have come to believe that enthusiasm is childish and immature. Surely no self-respecting adult who wants to be taken seriously would ever stoop to behave in such a manner. We must ask ourselves though, aren’t we taking ourselves a little too seriously? I mean think of how it feels to be so wholeheartedly honest about our feelings. It feels good to be true to yourself and what you love. Think of how it feels to meet someone who shares your enthusiasm for a topic as well. Shared enthusiasm helps build and strengthen bonds between people. This may not always be the case though. 

brown and green mountain view photo

On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

Mae West was a rough-and-tumble lady (no pun intended) who always exhibited enthusiasm and lust for life. Whenever we see one of her movies or an interview with her, we are always impressed with her brash vitality. She is a good role model in some ways. 

We don’t have to be brash and we can learn something about our enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is not rounded. It has pointed corners and it is sometimes irritating to those who don’t share it. Many of us have tried to curb our enthusiasm so as not to be offensive. We may even have equated getting rid of it with maturity. What a waste! Another piece of ourselves whacked off. 

It’s true that our enthusiasm may grate on others if they don’t share our passion or good humor. It can be irritating and downright annoying to be faced with someone who talks endlessly of something in which you have no interest. Too often though, we women alter ourselves—whether through appearance, words, or our actions—to avoid displeasing or offending others. We wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, so we suffer through discomfort instead. We dampen our enthusiasm, we scale back our opinions, we quiet our voices… and we aren’t heard. What kind of life is it if we aim to please everyone, but we aren’t true to ourselves? We strip away all of our irritating, offending characteristics until there is nothing left. Part of what makes us who we are is the interests that set our souls ablaze with the fires of passion and enthusiasm. Everyone has different interests and hobbies, likes and dislikes, and pet peeves. No one can please everyone. We might as well be liked by a few for who we genuinely are than lose ourselves trying to be liked by many!

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