Wait! Don’t grab your gasoline and matches just yet. I’m not telling you to literally set things on fire. I’m not promoting arson here although I do enjoy the occasional bon fire. 😉 I’m talking emotionally, metaphorically, spiritually—light a fire—in yourself or someone else.
I can’t tell you how many times when my life was nothing but ashes someone would say something or do something that kindled my spirit. You may not have known it and if I’d been stable enough to realize it I would’ve told you how you were changing me but grief stole a lot of my words and coherent thoughts.
We have no idea what kind of ashes people are buried under. We’ve all been burned by life one way or another. Something has hurt us—the death of a loved one, a lost opportunity, a broken relationship, an unfair situation—we’ve all been on the receiving end of the torch of misfortune.
Some scars were left on our skin but the hardest scars to deal with are the ones left behind on our hearts. They tend to throb at the most inopportune time and are the most difficult to explain because sometimes there’s no obvious reason for the unexpected internal turmoil they cause. The scars are the kind that try to stifle our joy and hold us back from living life to the fullest. They inflate our insecurities and deflate our strengths.
It’s hard to remember each person has their own set of problems especially when we’re on the receiving end of someone’s pain. A snide comment, a sullen face, or any other unprovoked negative reaction from a person tends to send us in the opposite direction of positivity and turns off our fountain of kindness. But these moments are when we need to light a fire of hope in hurting hearts. Show compassion. Pour out compliments. Be a positive force in their life. If these things are too difficult then simply smile—not only is it good for them it’s good for you!
When I was buried in the ashes of grief friends, family, and even strangers would smile at me. I did my best to force a smile in return. Boy was that a difficult task at times but eventually the smiles were no longer an obligatory pulling up of the corners of my mouth—nope. Eventually they became real and bright and sparkling again. So, if you can’t find the positive words to share then at least share a smile—you never know what kind of flame you’ll be kindling with your pearly whites. It might even be your own!
If you’re sitting in a pile of ashes today—no matter how big or small—I have a message for you. Stand, shake off the hurt, and pull the corners of your mouth into the biggest smile you can. You can get through this. You can overcome this. You’re a phoenix. Spread your wings, rise from the ashes, and spread the beautiful fire of your spirit. You never know who might be in need of the unique flames of comfort and encouragement only YOU can give.
#LightAFire #RiseFromTheAshes #BeAPhoenix