We all have what I like to call an inner flame. When we shine we can do anything. The things we love, the things we have to, and even the things we hate. Many of us are not only hard on ourselves, but we neglect this light. Even I have been guilty of neglecting my inner flame.
Today I want to talk about that light. Our individual flames. But, I need to explain a group I call the house. The people who are my chosen family. The people who always stand by me, no matter how far away we are from each other. No matter what is going on. I know they won’t judge.
We call this group the House. I don’t remember how the name came to be. Nor does it matter. I met all them through some alt-lifestyle groups I was a part of during my time in Evansville. I am the youngest in the group and I learn something from them every time we interact in person or online.
I’ve known most of them for over ten years now.
Either way, the people in the house weren’t something I was looking for. They chose me. I received help from them when I didn’t know where to go. They became my chosen family. The house is my rock.
Over the years we’ve sort of developed our own code of conduct.
It arose when we realized that we were all teaching within our little community. We were all working to help others. And we realized that we were doing this through love or compassion, honesty, honor, and trust.
But we have one special saying. It started a few years ago.
Be the light.
Be the LIght
We all teach each other, but I will always remember this moment. The day that our fearless leader shared a poem with us. I tried hard to find that exact poem for you, but I couldn’t. But, I did find one that shared a similar spirit I’ve posted it below.
You are a precious gem amongst stones. You are a star shining most brilliantly In the darkness of the night.
Be that star and hope that you can serve As a beacon of hope and light the path For those around you.
Be a shining example of beauty and divinity Leading the way and leaving a trail For others to emulate.
Live so that others may look up to you, And follow the path of goodness and nobility Which you tread upon.
When situations seem tough at times And circumstances are beyond control Don’t stop shining.
Remember that stars glitter most brightly And shine with all their exquisiteness In the darkest of hours.
So be the light, be the brightest star And continue being who you truly are…
By Vijaiya Ramkissoon
The poem reminds us that we each have the power to fuel, guide, and love not only ourselves but others. To live so that you model a path for those lost. We each have a light and it our responsibility to help it shine as bright as it can.
No easy task right?
Today, we live in a world full of negativity. It is hard to be our authentic selves, much less be the light for our family, friends, and even ourselves. We have busy lives. We have fears we want to avoid. Some of us may still be hurt from past trauma. Due to these things, very few people ever let themselves be true to their authentic self.
Every day we can stile our own lights through our choices. Worse, we can deny others of the benefit our light might have on them as well.
I like to think of the light as the core of my soul. As the cornerstone of who I am. As the values that I wish my daughter to learn from me. Every day I strive to ensure that I shine my light. Some days go better than others.
But I want to make sure that I am being who I want to be. That I am teaching her the things I feel she needs to learn. The things I want to see in the world around me.
So now, let’s talk about how we feed the light. How we let it shine.
Your Inner Fire
Recently I read a book called The Right Questions by Debbie Ford (add link). As I read it reminded me of the house and my light. It is an uplifting book about becoming more authentic to your true self.
While I cannot verify the claim, I’m still exploring, I do know that it has gotten me thinking about my inner flame.
Your Inner Flame
Imagine your light as the keeper of your life force. A flame. Each choice I make each day, either ignites my flame or dampens its light. When the flame roars and cackles I can move mountains. Nothing is beyond my capabilities. This is where people can achieve higher forms of consciousness or greatness.
When we neglect it yet, we feel the opposite. Vulnerable. Others can easily hurt me. We feel anxious and can get depressed. We begin to doubt ourselves and fail to communicate with others. Worst of all, when the light is at its lowest that we are not worthy of love or happiness.
When the light is burning out we can feel burnt out. I think that may be where that phrase comes from. We don’t have anything to give others. We are so busy trying to keep the last embers from burning out.
Our Flame and Others
Our flame doesn’t just affect us, however. The flame in our souls affects everyone around us. When we are off or worried, our families worry. They want to tend to us, regardless of whether there is anything for them to do to help. Worse, we can become physically, mentally, or verbally abusive when our fires are weak. We can harm them and theirs.
Just as we are dependant on our support systems, they are dependant on us! Whodda thought right?
Bringing Others Down
In additions, when the flame is low, we look to others for help. We can become needy. Needy like a bad stereotype. And if we do this often, we can burn out others as well as ourselves.
At some point in our lives, every one of us has that person that we gave our all to. That person who each time we dealt with them we felt more and more drained. We felt defeated because we never managed to bring them up. Those are people whose lights are dim. Who is entirely relying on others to bring them back up?
Worse yet, these people don’t realize that while they may need help, that they also have to help themselves.
Choice and the flame
The good news is that we can change this at any moment. We can tend our fire, our inner flame, with our daily choices. Each time we are true to ourselves, follow our dreams and do the things that make us truly happy, we grow the flame.
When I say happy…I’m not talking about artificial things like money or stuff. I am talking about real experiences and expressions of joy in your life. Those memories that you build with your daughter or your father. The moments that bring a smile to your face.
Stuff doesn’t do that. Stuff brings us momentary hedonistic joy, not fulfillment in our hearts. Not to say that you can’t spend money to go and do something that creates a memory like that. However, you can have those moments without money. One of my fondest memories is my mom and me crafting with leftover felt and fabric.
I don’t remember what we made. Something for my barbies probably. What I remember is the feeling and the joy of that moment. I remember the connection.
If you feel like you are struggling with your inner flame think about the following:
Imagine that your only job in life is to tend that flame. There is absolutely nothing else that you need to do. It alone can feed you, provide for you, love you. Just take a moment to imagine that feeling of peace of mind. Imagine how motivated you would be to take care of that fire.
Next, take a moment to jot down some ideas of what truly makes you happy. Maybe its spending time with the kids. Or having a moment to yourself to meditate. Whatever it is, write it down.
And remember these moments of pure joy. Use them to fan your flame. Or to figure out new ways to do so. Seek joy instead of momentary gratification.
Choices that Dim the Light
- Constant criticism
- Perceived obligations like I should or I have to (will the world go on?)
- Trying to be nice (when we really don’t want to be)
- Aspiring for others approval
- Lying to yourself
- Constantly being late
- Lack of empathy
- Comparing your self to others or judging others
- Living in fear
- Thinking others are better than you
- Ignoring your dreams
- Overindulging in anything
- Wasting time
- Ignoring compliments
- Not setting boundaries and limits
- Not having enough alone time
- Exhausting yourself
- Ignoring your intuition and inner voice.
Choices that build the fire
- Taking time for yourself
- Spending time with loved ones
- Acknowledge what you’ve done well
- Spending money wisely
- Planning for the future
- Finding inspiration
- Doing what’s in your best interest
- Being intimate
- Charity work
- Doing what you love
- Telling others how much they mean to you
- Going after your dreams
- Making choices consistent with where you want to go
- Taking responsibility
- Being present
- Listening to others from your heart
- Empowering others
- Creating a support system and contributing to others support system.
A Final World
No matter how strong your light is, remember that sometimes we all fall. Sometimes we all need someone to help us tend the flames. Other times, we have to be that person who helps our fellow man. You never know what a kind word will do. Or a harsh one for that matter.
You may make someone’s day or change their life with a few simple words. I’m not talking about advice per se. I’m saying that you through action and words may be the difference for someone someday. And you may never know that you can be that difference.
When we consistently work towards being the light who knows what can happen. When we keep our flames fanned, who knows how we might grow and change. How our light can spread. And the good we can bring into the world.
Be the light. Be the change. Both for yourself and for the benefit of others. Just be the best you, you can be.