You know when you have something new that’s got your attention and you don’t want to pull away from it? That’s where I’ve been hanging out the past couple of weeks. A new video game, Ghost of Tsushima was released last Friday, and all I’ve really wanted to do since then is play that. I mean, if nothing else, I feel like I have a duty to liberate the isle of Tsushima from the ongoing Mongol invasion, and the peasants are relying on me.
When I was a kid, my brother and I each got to choose a toy. My brother chose a Carebear, and I, a joystick, to play the games on our Apple IIe computer. When they arrived, we opened them, then went to bed. My brother got to take his new toy straight to bed. I didn’t. I get it — my parents thought it would be weird for their son to go to bed cradling a joystick. I simply wanted to have my hands on it, feel its contours, and click the buttons. I just wanted some time with my toy.
That kind of obsession and focus is the hallmark of the Passion that I am. There’s a great deal of Fire energy that shows up with me once I’ve got my attention on something. You could argue that this is the Masculine in full, purpose-driven force.
Of course, defeating a bunch of digital Mongol invaders is not the most inspired purpose a man can have — but it is purpose, nonetheless, and you better believe that when I turn my focus in this direction, I do it well.
Fire, left unchecked, can be destructive and all-consuming. When harnessed and balanced with the other elemental forces (Water, Air, Earth), Fire is a force for good, a powerful tool and something that clears out the old to leave room for the new.
I notice how clear my calendar has looked these past couple of weeks, and I feel a few things.
First, delight. Delight that the peasants and farmers of Tsushima will be rescued by their Samurai saviour: a man named Jin Sakai, wielding a mighty katana blade, wearing the clothes of a ronin and a battered straw hat, and piloted by my deft and dexterous hands.
The second feeling is concern. Concern that if I devote this time to video games, my following will fall away. I will lose relevance. I will become obsessively fixated, at the cost of all else. When I come up for air, I will have lost everything I worked so hard to build.
This is the nature of the Fire that burns inside of me. When I’m pulled towards play and fun, I’m concerned that the work will fall away — that I’ll lose it all. When I’m pulled towards work and mission, I can lose sight of the play and the fun.
My work is often in trusting what is showing up internally, leaning into it, and balancing out my Passion with the rest of who I am.
There’s no right way for any of this to go. Just learning as I take steps.