The other night at karaoke, I heard one of my favorite songs from college: "Standing Outside the Fire" by Garth Brooks. Yes, I am from the Midwest. But to me, this song seems to just about sum up human existence: "Life is not tried, it is merely survived / If you're standing outside the fire."
"The fire" is what we each need to go walk through in order to have that life we truly want. It's another way of thinking about "facing our fears," but a little more powerful. Walking through the fire can mean taking a leap to a new career, accepting the sadness of ending an unhealthy relationship or committing to a role that's more than you thought you could be. We need to recognize and own the feeling of intense discomfort in order to make the changes we want to make.
The fire will feel unbearably hot, and as you walk through it, you cry and call out in pain. You summon all your courage and grit to keep placing one foot in front of the other. Can you take one more step? Sometimes you have intense moments of doubt: Is it worth it?
Sometimes, you wonder if you are strong enough to keep going, but then surprise yourself when you realize that you actually do still have more fight in you. A lot more, in fact. As scalding as it is, the fire is very much worth it. That the burning is actually better than the icy cold experience of sitting on the sidelines. When you realize this, you experience an overwhelming sense of peace, joy, pride and certainty. You are alive.
You know what I am talking about. In walking through the fire, you come to understand the limitless power you have. You know the profound gift of being alive. You feel wide-awake after a long slumber.
I stood inside the fire when I left experimental science to become a life coach…and then again when I called off my engagement to a wonderful man who I knew, deep down inside, wasn't my one.
So what fires have you walked through? Are there fires that lay in front of you? What are you doing about them? Are you...