Am I obsessed? Do I have an obsessive personality? Do I hold on to things way past the point of usefulness? In order, the answers are no, yes, and I have in the past. I’m not obsessed, but I do feel strongly about certain things. I want to spend my life with my Muse. I want to live in my house on the beach. These are not obsessions; they are directions. Will I die if I don’t get these things? Will I be unhappy for the rest of my life if I don’t reach these objectives? No. If I didn’t reach these goals, I would be unhappy and then I would find a way to be happy again.
I’ve learned a lot about fear and unhappiness. I don’t believe they are our natural states. We aren’t supposed to be afraid and we aren’t supposed to be unhappy. Not for too long anyway. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to be giddy and extroverted every moment of the day, but we shouldn’t be miserable as a state of being either.
What should we be? I can’t speak for others, but I would like to be the following every moment of every day:
Of course, these all go together. Rarely do I feel one of these and not feel the others at the same time. Here’s an example for this very moment: I had to replace my computer charger because my old one stopped working. Unfortunately, tonight I left the new one somewhere else. I could have gotten it, but it would have been an inconvenience. So, against all hope, I used the old charger and it worked! It’s charging my computer even as I’m writing this sentence. I am extremely joyful about this and I’m grateful as well. It also makes me feel peaceful because I don’t have to go out and get my charger. Now I can write.
At one point I wondered if writing was an obsession. It’s not. It’s also a direction. What, then, is the difference between an obsession and a direction? I’ll admit they can look and feel the same. Both are important and both take up a lot of time and thought. But they are very different.
First, the object of the obsession is just that – an object. This is true even if the object is a person. If the focus, the person, of the obsession gets hurt, it only matters to the extent that one can keep that object. Obsessed people don’t really care who they hurt when it comes to their obsession.
Second, emotions about the obsession can change, but love doesn’t change, no matter what emotions are present or absent. There can be a new obsession or a series of them.
Finally, the point of an obsession is to have that thing and that thing only. There is no life beyond that. And usually once one obtains that item, he or she loses interest in it.
The biblical story of King David’s son Amnon and his stepsister Tamar illustrates these points. Amnon believed he was in love with his stepsister. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. He thought about her so much, he became ill. Finally, when he had the chance to be alone with her, he raped her. When he was done, the Bible says, “He now hated her more than he loved her.” Had it been true love, first he wouldn’t have raped her, and second, he would have desired her beyond that one encounter. He would have desired what was best for her, not just his own needs.
There’s an expression that was very popular in the 1970’s:
If you love something let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.
My desire to spend my life with my Muse in my house on the beach has a purpose beyond my needs. Reaching my goals will not be the end of my life, but the beginning. The point of all love and healing is to begin a new life that allows me to serve the world. If I were obsessed, I would lose interest when things got difficult. All I can think about now is how difficult life would be without my Muse, without my writing, and without my house on the beach. All I can think about is how having anything less than what I want would be settling for less than the best, perhaps even less than what God has for me.
That’s why I need to Get Started and Keep Going every day…because that’s my direction.