“I am the mama of an energetic toddler and a new baby. Things are impossibly tight financially. I am in burnout territory. I feel like my feathers have already been singed by the fire. I need tips on coming through the smoke without getting burned. Can you help?”
Our lives often feel like burning buildings. We navigate our days trying hopelessly hard to avoid the flames. We test the doorknobs of rooms we are being invited to enter, and if they transmit heat we walk away and look for other places to find safe shelter. We have been taught that safety and security lives in the opposite direction of the flames.
This is often true and wise and good. There is a clear wisdom to avoiding that which may bring annihilation. Most of life is survived by doing that very thing. But there are times in life where we exert so much energy avoiding the burn that our entire existence is wrapped up in tossing buckets of water on an impending inferno.
Sometimes the only truly wise thing to do is to walk straight into the fire. To welcome the burnout, to coax the threatening spark until it turns into a blaze which illuminates all the dark spaces. To walk into the fire, knowing that we will be reduced to ashes.
In the process of destruction, the fire can deliver us a new, fertile ground from which to begin again. What is birthed from the ashes often rises stronger, more essential, more connected to the core of truth than what lived before. And from this space we are offered a clear view of what remains, what truly matters, what is truly needed.
So go ahead. Ignite your life. Fan the flames. Allow everything to be illuminated by the blaze. Feel the freedom in being reduced to ashes and welcome the rebirth that follows. There is a devastating beauty here, a brutal core of truth in all that remains.
Spread your wings wide. Do not be afraid. You will always know how to fly.
This post originally appeared in Amulet Magazine
Uncommon Sense is an ongoing series where I respond to comments and questions that stir my heart. They arrive by email, by text, by comment. They speak to something universal in me, and my response comes quick and sure. If you have something stirring in your heart and would like me to respond – please send me your message. I cannot respond publicly to all messages, but I do promise – with everything that I have – that I will honor it and keep it safe.