I was born with a fire inside.
As a child, I was scared a lot. I was afraid of losing love. I can’t explain how it started, but it was there and present throughout my youth. Because of that, the fire was small and tamed, for the most part. Teenage years saw me lost, and still afraid, though the fire started to get bigger and stronger. I could not handle it at that time. It was as if I had this immense strength, but did not see all of the blind spots, the strength was exploited. I’ve prided myself on the level of conviction and passion I have, yet, when you cannot control the level, intensity, or expression of those, you tend to act in opposition to your true self. I think we all do this as teenagers – maybe that’s what we are supposed to learn in those years. For me, the fire was white hot, but I had no direction and the fear of not belonging, losing any love was terrifying.
Something happened when I was sixteen – I started to feel as if I belonged somewhere. It was outside of family life, so by belonging somewhere else and with other people, I felt like I could let go of some of the fear at home – if my family didn’t love me the same after I let down my guard, it was okay because I found a place I belonged. Only … I didn’t belong there. Not really. Or maybe I did at one point, but then not. Either way, I ended up alone and did not belong again … fear started up again.
I’m sensing a pattern here.
As an adult – the fire grew and was cultivated. I could channel it more into my studies and into what I feel is wrong in the world; harness that passion to be useful. I would still go off a bit here and there, like a jump of the fire flame at a burst of oxygen. Hell, I still do that, but to a lesser extent than in my 20s.
What happened while I was married … I can see it now in hindsight, but I had no idea what was happening at the time. I chose to fight so hard – some tough times are normal, right? But, my fire started to go out, slowly at first until I realized I was a tiny flame, not even enough to to show orange, only the transparent, barely blue flame – just enough to know I was still alive, but not much more. I lived in a cold, cold place and the fire dwindled. I’d have the back draft due to this or that, but the base fire itself was being stifled. I was freezing to death in the one situation where I felt like I’d belong – simultaneously losing the love that I needed and wanted to cling to the most. I did not belong.
Someone came along and stoked the fire, breathed life back into my spirit and helped to reignite the passions inside. He has been quite careless, however, and now that he is not around, it threatens to consume me. In a short time, I have gone from a ball burning bright and uncontrolled, to the tiniest flicker of blue flame, to a fire that is moving between steady and rowdy. I need to focus more time on taming the fire – scratch that – allowing my fire to bring warmth, comfort, and light, instead of burning pain. This is my flame and I own that. Finding the right home for it, now, that is the question of a lifetime …