"She faces the great danger of losing all hope and happiness and being bored and sad for the rest of her life--and never sharing her gifts with the world! It's almost too late already!"
These words were spoken by Annie in Leprechaun in Late Winter, a book from the Magic Tree House series. Annie and her brother, Jack, were on a Merlin mission and trying to show Miss Augusta the Shee. Miss Augusta, a child like Annie and Jack, had been searching for these mystical fairies but could never find them because she was searching with her head and not her heart. She had given up and become sorrowful.
As I read the chapter to my very captivated 6 year old, it reminded me of a comment a friend made on a photo I posted on Facebook. The photo included a quote about waking up and deciding to set your life on fire. I said "It was a good decision."
My friend was looking for some inspiration for herself. She said she felt asleep and barely smoldering. She wanted to know how it worked - to really live life with a purpose - on a practical, day-to-day basis. She told me my posts have been inspiring lately.
She's not the first person who has shared with me that my posts have inspired them in some way. This is humbling to me and really made me think.
A big part of my writing is to inspire in some way. As I say routinely, my overall aim is to inspire, to entertain and to make you think. Here's the thing. I don't put much thought into this goal. I just write what I know or I seek out things that inspire me and share them. Sometimes I just like to throw things out into the world and see what happens - that's the entertaining part.
As of late, the inspiration has come from my own experiences as a somewhat recent divorcee and single mom. I don't share the entire story of the breakup of my marriage, but I went from a comfortable life pursuing my dreams with the cushion of another (much higher) income in the household to being the single mom and entrepreneur racing to keep up with life and bills overnight. (That's a slight exaggeration, but really not that far off.)
I"ve shared that the day after I found out my marriage was ending I had a book contract waiting for me in my inbox. That I flew off to Nicaragua a few weeks later on an insight trip with WaterAid America. I accomplished two major goals in the most difficult and stressful time of my life.
The truth is that I don't post the dark stuff. Thankfully there isn't too much of that anymore anyway, but I don't see the point of focusing on bad when there is so much good.
There is always good. And to find that fire within you, I think the first step is to forget about the negative and to let that good - that passion and love within you - drive you to where you want to go.
Sometimes the fire is ignited because it has to be.
Sometimes you've been smoldering so long that there's no other option but to burst right into flames.
Sometimes the only way to ensure survival is to set your life on fire.
You will almost always be sidetracked or rejected or pushed aside at some point. I've learned to be patient and to accept that what I think might be the answer may need further inspection. That people with good intentions may not have the best advice for me. That there is actually a path for me, and it's better to allow that path to unfold rather than to clear it myself.
I know that things are happening for me. Pieces are falling into place. Opportunities are presenting themselves, and I am opening myself up for more. Patience is not easy for me, but it does pay off.
I don't know where life will lead me, but I will be living the life I was born to live, searching with my heart and not my head.
Have you set your life on fire?
This article was originally published on anotherjennifer.com