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Passion and Non-attachment Juxtaposed; agreeable or abrasive?

One of my words for the year is Passion. Last night I was at a class that is serving as a type of spiritual grounding while I am on a project away from home. We read a poem and were asked to listen to what phrase or word spoke to us most, and I felt the passion jolt through my body when the words were spoken “I want to know” in regards to another person’s feelings and thoughts.  “YES”, I thought. I want to know.

I could feel this passion for my compassion and desire oozing out of me spilling in to the world with my various projects and initiatives and charities and people. It was an overwhelming sense of aliveness and drive, and then I stopped mid-thought…  something about the word WANT.

This single word – want – left such an deep emptiness inside my very being.  Know felt fine.  Believe felt fine.  But I WANT to know?  I WANT to believe?  Is this message of my passion being a great driver really what I am being taught? Or am I being asked to listen maybe a little less passionately to what I want to hear, and instead feel what sinks in from those around and the lessons I might be taught? 

We shared as we went around in a circle, and another word stood out that someone else talked abouy – non-attachment. That word did not engulf me, but instead floated in to me and settled within me, embraced by all around it.  This was perplexing to me – aren’t passion and non-attachment kind of the opposite?

And then it hit me.  While it is fine having passion, being attached to the outcome leaves us in a constant state of want and desire.  Basically, a state of unfulfillment; not exactly a pleasant or peaceful state.  I WANT to believe or I WANT you to know is not the same as “I believe” or “I know you know”.  Taking away the ‘want of’ or the ‘attachment to’ the passion brought me that same overall satisfaction of being engaged and energetic, but a deep sense of peace within as well.

So to me, the key to having passion is to having non-attachment to the outcome. Otherwise, we drive our energy with such force that we bulldoze everything else over in the process of getting there.  All the lessons, the beautiful journey along the way gets lost and we are continually left unfulfilled.  When coming from the deep place of non-attachment, we seem to gently float there as a sacred, calm, and guided leader full of wisdom and knowledge, experiencing the beautiful journey of life along the way.

Creative Commons License photo credit: d e x t e r .

Passion and Non-attachment Juxtaposed; agreeable or abrasive?

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2011). Passion and Non-attachment Juxtaposed; agreeable or abrasive?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Jan 2011
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