The last couple of weeks have been an adjustment for me. Old habits are beginning to fade away and I can feel my thought patterns shifting with each day. My sleeping habits are changing as well and most mornings I wake feeling much more refreshed than I used to. As I continue moving forward I can feel my own strength growing in increments, that tiny flame is still only a pinpoint in the darkness, but it is just a bit brighter each day.
Imagine, if you will, trying to start a fire in a cave with only a spark, just a tiny ember. Your life depends on this fire. You don't blow on it, instead you only whisper a bit of air over it. You feed it blades of withered grass until it's strong enough to have a few pine needles. The flame that finally arises is smaller than the ones on your birthday candles, and so fragile. You know that if you dump a bunch of leaves onto it you'll smother the last of the warmth and it will die. And so you're carefully tending it, putting all of your heart into it. Soon you're able to add bits of wood as thin as a pencil, then as big around as your thumb. With each addition you are careful to add only what your small fire can handle. You don't feel relief just yet, but you feel a strong hope that the fire will live, even though a gust of wind could extinguish it completely. Your focus is solely on the flames in front of you because you know that your survival depends on it. After a while you can add branches as thick as your wrist and you know that you can bring the larger ones closer so that they begin to heat up without being right in the fire. It takes patience and time but, once you're able to add the thick branches, you know that the heavy logs around the perimeter will soon be burning and you will have a fire that will not only keep you alive, but will be strong enough to keep your cave warm enough to thrive. You'll still need to tend it each day but you know that you can count on it being there.
This is a little bit about how I feel right now. My tiny spark is growing and is now strong enough for the pine needles. As long as I stay focused on it (my Spiritual health), I know that I'll have a bonfire before long and I'll be able to dance around it in celebration of my Life.
In the meantime, I've created new routines and am learning new habits. The kind of habits that will keep me alive through all that I have planned for my life.
May you all have that flame in your hearts and may it be strong and sure.