You are NOT a candle flame that is easily distinguished by wind. You are a FIRE and wind only serves to fuel your flames, propelling you to grow larger and taller and expand to places you’ve never been. You are powerful and resilient and adversity is not designed to extinguish you but to serve your growth.
This is one of the best metaphors for resiliency I’ve come across and I give you permission to stop reading now and just let the metaphor marinate in your brain.
How do you view yourself? Do you see yourself as a candle flame or a fire? I believe strongly we are all fires! But my belief about you doesn’t matter nearly as much as your belief about yourself.
Belief is powerful. I love the simple quote by R.S Grey, “She believed she could, so she did.” Belief guides our decisions and our actions. If we believe in our resiliency, we will act in resilient ways, engaging the struggle until we come out the other side. If we believe we are a candle flame that can be extinguished by wind, we will act that way, and when adversity comes, we will lie down and give up or look for a hero to rescue us.
Part of believing yourself to be a fire and not a candle flame involves your value of growth.
Do you value your own personal development and growth? Most people do. At least theoretically. Sometimes we think we value growth but we provide conditions. “Yes I want to grow, but I want to decide how and when that growth will occur.” And you may have several experiences in your life where you have initiated and facilitated your own growth. That is really great and we should all aspire to set goals that will challenge us to grow.
However, I’d also wager that perhaps our biggest growth curves happen in the context of challenges we didn’t invite or want. Or perhaps we wanted a particular challenge but it turned out very differently than what we anticipated. For example, becoming a mother was a choice I made but it sure has come with countless unexpected and unwanted growth moments! Whether you invited the challenge or life threw something expected your way, it is important to lean into the discomfort that growth requires.
When life or circumstances become painful, we reflexively want to avoid, numb, withdraw, distract; do anything but feel the pain. But our belief in the value of growth, will help us stay willing to engage the journey for its sake, and not just for it’s outcome.
We are all people in process of becoming better versions of ourselves. I hope we recognize that we are FIRES that need wind to fuel our expansion and growth. And like fires, the bigger we burn, the brighter we become!