Fire is fierce; it rages, it burns through kindling and makes fodder of everything in its path. However, fire is also intrinsically linked with purification and blessings.
Though Monsoon has clearly started, and the dark clouds make their way across the skies, the desert is still threatened daily by the possibility of fires sparking in the dry grasses and in the mountains.
I am a child of the land and sea, my heart belongs somewhere deep within a coastal forest, surrounded by the green of the trees with the distant sounds of crashing waves. But there is a fire in my chest – some days it is a flickering candle flame, and others it is a raging forest fire, threatening to burn everything in its path. Fire “reminds us to hold space for our anger, to be fierce, and to stand up for ourselves” (Molly Remer, Creative Spirit Circle).
I have found that I allow that flickering candle flame to grow, over time, into the raging fires that cause me to lash out in anger. I have been conditioned to suppress my anger, to swallow my negative reactions and feelings about any given situation.
I have been accused of blowing up for no reason, but what those around me do not understand is that I hide my anger, I fight the fire threatening to spread through the forest of my mind and body, which in turn causes a deep-rooted guilt to rise within me like a sick tree. I tell myself I am keeping the peace, and I try to feed and water the sapling with love to heal it. When I fail at healing the tree, and it grows, the waves at the shores of my mind rise and pull me under, and I am no longer able to fight the fire; it spreads too far and becomes too strong for my efforts.
I have not found a happy medium between candle flame and wildfire. Should I speak of my concerns, I am accused of yelling at and attacking people or teaching my children to disrespect others. Thus, the sick sapling of guilt begins to take root under the soil and grow. I hide my candle behind a veil, and when I do not express my anger or my discomfort or my unhappiness about a situation, the veil catches fire.
I find myself simultaneously drowning and burning, and I lose everything I have worked hard for – balance, inner calm, and a love for myself. When the fires finally die out, leaving only the flickering candle flame, and the dark and cold water recedes, I am left standing in the middle of a blackened forest.
I am learning to hold my flame and express myself, to share in a calm and centred manner my anger over something that I feel unjust – to be fierce where and when it is appropriate. I know that it is a process and that it will take time to undo all of the conditioning I endured between birth and young adulthood. In order to maintain a steadiness within my inner forest and sea, the time must be taken to learn and put into practice the skills of tending that inner flame.
Awen be with you.