Kindling that inner glow
You are outside and the wind is so strong, so mischievous in it’s tenacity that you feel your feet might actually leave the ground. You walk sideways, trying to side step a direct face-to-face conflict with the pressure it puts upon every inch of your body. It is fierce and relentless, but so are you.
There are times when I find myself upset that the wind is blowing everything about creating chaos and leaving a general mess in its wake. Whether I am confined to a space because I’m outside with work to do or engaged either passively or actively in an activity, I can feel the bitterness rise up in me. Especially if there is a chill that accompanies the wind. Do you feel your shoulders push forward, your neck bend, your arms clutch each other and then later wonder why your upper body aches so much? I realize that I may be more sensitive to the cold than some people seem to be, so I try really hard to use my mind over matter with the weather. I try to talk positively – “I cannot be beaten by the wind!” or “Snow and cold have nothing on me, I’m prepared”. But, am I?
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I’m really prepared for much of life at all. There are days that seem to push me down and I look around thinking that I must have just missed a step or the world shifted quickly and I fell asleep for a moment and all of that had to have happened to explain why I am left dumbstruck when surely I know better. How can it be that some days the wind that surrounds us with such vigor is the same wind that gets knocked out of us?
We can all be a bit fickle at times, can we not? Some days it feels as if the winds of the sea could crash upon our feet and not move so much as a hair on our body. Other days a breeze blowing the wrong way as to push over a precious, small, delicate pot, spills the soil, leading to another minor, yet significant event that has us running for cover. We will all have days like both of these and while I hope you have more of the former than the latter, I know you’ll have both. While we’d like to cling on to those strong formidable days and brush past the weak, erratic ones, there will be both.
While the air is there – barely noticed or pushing us down, there is also a light that is ever-present. Picture the flame from a candle and how it dances with any motion that comes near it. If the motion is really strong, the flame goes from vertical to almost horizontal before it might disappear completely. The candle’s flame is certainly labile. We may think this is similar to our selves – easily blown out by too much commotion, but we are not. Where a candle’s light may falter, our internal light – while subjected to challenges and influenced by the environment in which it stands – will still glow. A transparent screen of protection around our light which is our ability to continue to stand even if pushed mightily and to decide to reach for and embrace a sound, solid structure, is what makes us human beings unique. We get to decide so much about ourselves and our capabilities simply (yet not so simply) by how we think. Your mind is powerful, your light is powerful, and even when you slip, slide, or fall all the way down one day, the next will open up anew. Your glow pulses on steadily.
If you are experiencing a windy day or have just recovered from one, give yourself a break. It is tough to face a wind and there is nothing wrong with you. You are not weak. By allowing yourself the grace of stepping to the side and seeking some refuge or sheltered ground while others bustle by, is self-care. You cannot expect anyone else to know what you need or see the wind you’ve been battling. Whether taken figuratively or literally, no doubt you’ve experienced wind and you will again. Stepping aside to intentionally connect with your breath, the air that fills your lungs, you are honoring and rekindling that inner glow.