“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your fire.” -Rumi
🔥 One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting around the fire on my grandparents farm and listening to their stories about my ancestors.
🔥 I was about five years old when my grandma taught me how to build a fire. She told me that we needed logs, sticks, dry twigs, and some hay. First you place the hay, then the twigs, then the branches, said my grandma. The logs too, I proudly shouted! She smiled and said the Young Fire is not ready to support the heavy logs quite yet. We leave those for later, when the fire catches on. So she took the matches and lit the thinnest and most flammable elements - hay and twigs.
🔥 When you see the first spark of a young fire, you need to aid it by gently blowing on it. And if it’s too windy you need to clasp your hands to protect it from dying out until it catches on. I happily helped her blow on it and watch the fire catch on. It started to grow bigger and stronger by the minute. In no time it was engulfing the hay and the twigs and moving to the branches. It’s now ready for the logs, grandma continued. We both watched the logs catch on fire, smiling and enjoying its warmth.
🔥 The process of building a fire is no different than building up our self-esteem and confidence. If we surround ourselves with people that build us up, people who fan our fire, we are going to grow stronger, and become stable faster. Then, we too can withstand and face life’s challenges with more confidence.
🔥 But if we are surrounded with people that constantly make us feel bad about who we are, make us feel guilty or unworthy of love, then we start doubting and devaluing ourselves. Without even realizing it, our flame slowly starts to dim. We begin to question our worth, our ability, our confidence. We start to feel as if we have no control over the outcome of our lives and we begin to lose hope that we can change anything. Those people might call themselves our friends, but their actions paint a much different picture. We might even have a family member that thinks they love us, but their words continue to hurt us. And then we might be dating or pursuing those not worthy of our love, and have no courage to end the relationship because we believe we don’t deserve any better.
🔥 And then some of us are surrounded by the type of people who kill our fire by blowing too much. We could be one of those to our kids. Not letting them make any mistakes on their own; expecting too much and listening too little. Or, by being too protective and overbearing. These kids might feel as if nothing they do is enough for their parents. They feel that no matter what they do, they will be a disappointment to their families.
🔥 So, if I’ve learned anything from my grandma’s fire building lesson is that we all start fragile and easily influenced. And if we can surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us, the kind of role models whose behavior we want to emulate, people who fan our fire, than we would grow and reach our full potential in no time. We would soar like eagles and thrive even in the midst of the most challenging circumstances.
🔥 So let us surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us, and let us be fan the flames of others for generations to come. Let’s spark something special together!