I never thought I was a brave person. No one else did either. Until I scrapped my whole life and started over. Then suddenly I was brave. I never thought I was a strong person. I had the evidence to prove it. Until I stood against the hot winds of rejection over and over again, and I stepped forward. Then I knew I was strong.
Somedays, it’s the force that holds my chin up, that pushes my shoulders back. Others, it’s the shackle that bars me from breaking the surface and gasping for the air my burning lungs cry out for. Now that I’m brave, and I know that I’m strong, somehow I can’t be anything else. It’s one too many cards stacked upon each other, and I have to try not to exhale and blow them all down. Suddenly I can’t admit that it’s all too much. When I want to throw myself upon the fires that lick at me, this rigid force compels me to take their lashing.
But once I acclimate to the heat, it whispers to me over the hiss of the flames. It tells me this isn’t so bad. We’ve seen worse. We’ve walked through fires that tower over the measly sparks I find myself in now. We’ve been scorched by more vicious heat. I still feel its sharp fingers, I still squirm in the heat. The meek child inside me still whimpers for comfort. But there’s a coolness that overtakes my body. It’s strength, and bravery. They’ve come to remind me who I am.
Your circumstances are not your fault. You should never feel guilt for being held over an open flame. But how you handle the heat is up to you.