Are we afraid of passion?

I recently attended a training for work. Yes, I still work at a brewery and, yes, we’re required to learn about the beers we serve, how beer is made, etc. etc. Please don’t ask me any questions because most of my brain space is already dedicated to other, more spiritually uplifting, matters.

Six other young women and myself piled into the de facto tasting room at our company’s brewery in Brooklyn. It was hot, and noisy tanks and fans made it difficult to pay attention to the mildly interesting presentation. Our presenter was the manager of the brewery – a young guy with a beard and glasses. He looked like your typical Brooklyn hipster and spoke in a seemingly bored tone. At first listen, one might have the impression that this guy hates his unfulfilling job… except that he knows all of these really cool facts about beer! I realized that he was actually really into beer. He was a homebrewer a year ago and now manages the biggest craft brewery in New York City! You don’t get to where he is without some passion for his craft. I sensed something deeper than he let on at first because as soon as I asked him a few probing questions, his eyes lit up! I learned I was talking to a self-made historian of beer and a mad-scientist of beer recipes. I could just see him in my mind’s eye a year ago, dreaming up fantastic new brews and researching the history of brewing for hours, just because he wanted to.

Yet, when he talked to us, he adopted a “whatever, man, it’s cool” attitude. Maybe he was just insecure, afraid to “geek out” on beer in front of so many cute girls.

So, it makes me wonder… Why are we afraid to show passion? This is certainly not the first person I’ve come across who obviously was holding back. I know I’ve done it myself plenty of times, afraid to come on too strong.

I know that it can feel scary. To show our hearts is scary! We’re told that to be vulnerable is to be weak. But, it actually takes a really strong person to bare themselves with no fear and say, this is who I am. I am okay in myself and I’ll be okay even if I let others know what’s going on with me.

We’re also afraid of others’ passion and enthusiasm. Do we think that we’ll get caught up in an emotion that we don’t want to get caught up in? Do we think we’ll lose ourselves in some way?

I want to see your aliveness! I want to see your humanity! Show me that you’re not too cool to get excited about something. Show me that you feel things and aren’t afraid to let someone else in on that. We don’t have to let movies and songs express the passion that we’re all too afraid to show ourselves. There’s one life to live, so LIVE it!

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