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Through the wall of flames

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Living long enough we each find ourselves surrounded by an old way of being, thinking and loving that is going up in flames. In an unexpected moment I read the words, of my one-word wonder, that said 'You'd don't share, I'm not sure if you realise or not..'. In that moment I was stuck in fear, feeling trapped by an old way of life coming in on me.

It's understandable to stall at the wall of flame, not wanting to face all that is burning around us; yet old ways can burn forever and waiting for the flames to go out seldom works, we can waste years in waiting. Like a frightened man in a burning boat, in that moment, I chose to trust her, to believe that the greater sea I was about to jump into would douse whatever caught fire as I moved through it - this is what faith is all about.

Without trying to be brave and with great fear I have stumbled and jumped through many walls of flame. The first time, I think, was in leaving home - needing to go, burning at the edge, afraid I wouldn't survive beyond the flame of anger in which I was raised. Buoyed by youth the wall of flame seemed to burn brightly and in my favour but all too soon I had to move through the flames of utter despair in death and lost love.

Here the broken part of me was almost willing to be burned alive. I felt certain there was nowhere to go and nothing that could soothe me. I more fell through this wall than jumped, it seemed the entire sea was on fire. Even, once overboard, drifting farther and farther from the flames I thought I might drown. How could I know that the greater sea was the womb of a deeper life. But and, of course, once in the sea of life beyond myself, the world continued and I healed.

But the subtlest ring of fire, it seems, is that self-centered way of thinking that starts to suffocate us with smoke. For we carry the smouldering self-centered everywhere we go. It lives off us and eats up who we are. Being a commitment fence-sitter was hard to hear and I struggled with the reality of the words she gave me but she has shown trust in me with such boldness I realised it was about time to look her in the eye and love her, in that way, in return. 

So how to jump from the burning boat of me? I think it's about jumping from the boat of ego into the sea of spirit. Finally, perhaps, I feel I can find the courage to surrender my stubbornness and dreams of control, let the edge of my ego burn and jump through. I will do more than survive I will be carried to an unimagined shore.

 

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