"Start a fire in your heart and surround yourself with those who fan the flame."
I don't know from where this quote originates, but I loved it immediately. I've written previously about the idea of that internal flame. protecting it. keeping it lit. But to surround oneself with those who fuel it? Oh mmm hmmm. yes.
My internal flame has continued to burn. At times dim. So dim I wasn't sure it was still alive. But just as a fire dies down, the remaining embers contain incredible energy that are just waiting for a little breathing space to glow again brightly. I'm sure we've all had people in our lives who have threatened to diminish who we are, our hopes, our dreams, and those things that make us unique. I used to think love would be found by meeting someone who could accept who I was and choose to *deal with* certain pieces of me. That might be ok. That can keep the flame burning reasonably well. But would it fan it? Not really. Finding a partner and friends who truly embrace and cherish who I am turns out to be not only possible, but really what's deserved. For me, for you, for all of us. So I'm a bit emotional at times. Don't tell me be tough & not let my feelings show. There are times for that, but in moreso than not... F that. I'm strong because I feel. Emotions are part of me and I'm proud to finally let feelings in, even when they emit a strong response. I've been told I think about many things more in-depth than *most people*, and at times that I'm over-analyzing or not letting something go. Again, too bad. It means I haven't come to terms, haven't been able to fully make sense, or there's something in there that I haven't discovered yet. Curiosity comes out in all kinds of ways, including this, and I'll be damned if I'll curtail that.
So who are these people who fan our flame? They're the ones who love us because of who we are, not in spite of. They know the little quirks that make us unique. They find us beautiful so very far beyond the physical realm and know what we're made of inside. And they find us imperfectly perfect. They're our cheerleaders, our shoulders to cry on, the bearers of our strength when we think we can't go on. They look into us, not at us. There's a special connection that exists whether you speak every day, every year, or never again. You know when they've entered your space. That warm place in my heart? It's there because of who I am, but also because of those I love and cherish and hold close. My flame has been fanned & continues to be fanned. I'm honored, grateful, humbled, and burning strongly.