Every moment matters. I live in the present as much as possible. And I listen to the nudges from the universe. However, when life floods me from all directions, it can be challenging to receive the messages.
I have tried to be more mindful and aware of my perpetual tendency be everywhere and everything to everyone. However, I suppose in recent months, I regressed into old “crash and burn/give to depletion” patterns. I did not realize this until a few days ago.
The dryer hummed happily as I organized our laundry room. I suddenly heard a jarring, unfamiliar noise from the adjoining area. Thank goodness I was downstairs. I dropped my kids’ stinky sneakers and bolted toward the office.
Izzy, our poodle rescue pup, crouched between two steps on the winding, seventies-style staircase. Our eyes met mid-leap as I simultaneously shouted “Stop! Get. Down!” He was bounding toward Coco, our daughter’s bearded dragon.
In the four years he’s lived here, Izzy has never displayed any devious, unkind behavior. I froze as he refused to look at me. He cowered in the corner of the chocolate-brown carpeted room. I stood there staring at him in disbelief.
I turned around to leave. But then I smelled something that resembled a campfire. Perhaps I’d become delirious? Did I imagine a fall scent in South Florida because I so craved the crisp air of my favorite season? Nope. I still saw palm trees swaying amidst a tropical ambiance.
An unsettled, uneasy feeling prompted me to head back to the office. The faint smell had become stronger. Fire. That is the vision and word that wafted not only into my nose but also into my mind. I asked the sweet woman, Sara, who works with us if she noticed anything. She said no and shook her head.
Then my eyes examined Coco’s tank. The aluminum light had landed on the oak wood built-in furniture. It ought to be residing on top of the tank and warming Coco’s rapidly growing body. I cannot recall the specific uncouth phrase that exploded from my mouth. As I lifted the scorching light, wispy smoke swirled toward my face. And I noticed that the yellowish-orange wood became a burnt blackish-brown.
I immediately wet the area. I showed Sara the charred furniture. Our gazes locked, and no words were necessary. Earlier in the week, I’d said to my husband that I felt overloaded, overwhelmed, and frayed like an unraveling knit sweater. Yet of course I had some meetings, which I didn’t cancel.
My body quivered as I contemplated the “what ifs.” What if I left the area earlier? What if I was already upstairs? What if I’d ignored the nudge and left the house?
It took me a few minutes to fizzle my frazzled emotions. I texted my aunt to let her know I’d be quite late. She was, as always, loving and patient. I did not want to tell her what had happened via text because she’d worry. And we were only meeting briefly because I didn’t feel up to having lunch given the past few weeks.
My dear friend, Marcia, said to me recently, “It’s two steps forward and one step back. You just keep doing the dance.” The challenge for me? I need to change the tempo, which I commit to doing today. It is unnatural for me to move at a slower pace and give with more discernment. It is time to rekindle my own fire.
This isn’t the first time an alarming moment sparked contemplation and reminder about self-care. But this was one of the most dramatic. The other one I recall vividly is a near-encounter with a lightening bolt. I was inches away from being struck. (I will write more about that in a future entry.). The reason I shared this is five years ago, when the electrical zap missed me by inches, I was just awakening at a deeper level. And if you’re on a similar path, you know that seeing truths can be tremendously painful.
I have been keenly self-aware and intuitive since I could speak. What has shifted is my conscious decision to listen to the stirrings in my soul. But life, loss, and other emotionally-laden events form layers that eventually need to be processed and released. I am grateful for that scary, stop-in-my-tracks occurrence. I clearly needed a blatant, blazing reminder to take care of me.
Fire symbolizes connection to our souls, purification, clarity, and passion. Greek, Hindu, Eastern and other cultures have various interpretations of what fire represents. Transformation is one of the meanings that most resonates with me at this time. I am transforming pain into positive personal growth and healing.
It is unnatural for me to move at a slower pace. I must give but with more discernment. That is my challenge, and I commit to self care today. It is time to rekindle my own fire.
I’d love to hear from you! Please reach out on Facebook or Instagram (@everysoulhasastory). Or write to me via everysoulhasastory.com There’s a link “share your story.” It will bring you to a brief form, which is sent directly and privately to me. I am currently interviewing, listening to, and writing others’ stories. EVERY soul has a story—what is yours?