Living with the Spirits of Fire

To be wounded by your own understanding of love and to bleed willingly and joyfully.
— Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

On the darkest of dark nights, within the lost emptiness of our innermost despair, sparks of Light tremble, whispering some long-forgotten melody I once knew and cherished. 

Distant memories emerge. Vague and unsettled longings stir from within, igneous flashes from the Spirits of Fire move toward conscious awareness, each one’s piercing light blinding my self-deceptions.

Fortunately, I am a good listener, and I turn toward those fiery voices. I listen and I stop. I stop building the lies. I turn around within myself to really see and hear what is going on here. Something shifts in me, and suddenly I become willing to risk all for what I know and remember as my truth.

I struggle with my own familiar routes of escape: depression, despair, hopelessness, and dissociation. I am required to gather up my strengths, to change things, especially my habitual way of understanding—the proverbial “old ideas.” I am required to work through, push through, scream and howl, beg and weep in my quest, and finally surrender. For no matter how often I want to deny or change the unattractive truths, I know I must follow the calling of my Spirits—to discover both the suffering and the wisdom of these sacred voices within.

Uncomplicated are our true dreams, and visions are easy. Giving them presence in this world is the challenge. Like a woman in childbirth, the Spirits of Fire labor long and hard to bring forth their gifts from their unlived dreams.

Days, weeks, and years pass through me. Exhausted, I long for rest, to slow down or to stop, to disbelieve or abandon my efforts to set free the lies and voice the truth. Yet I have no choice but to surrender to Birth Cry, for the stories sought me out and, like deployed soldiers, occupied their territory. I have only held the pen and recorded the voices.

I am possessed—my psyche rants and my work is unceasing until all the words and sentences and paragraphs are etched with crystal clarity, and the details of each one's story honored. Each Spirit demands release from the long captivity of silence. Listening and honoring one another within a safe, sacred circle, my orphans grow strong. The veils, which separate truth from lies, are thinning, and identities are set free. Emancipated, their stories rise from the depths and joyously approach the return threshold of home.

The quest of the heroine is a crusade through reality—an authentic, gut-wrenching, and ecstatic journey toward the bottom line. Having heard and seen the truth, crossroads emerge:  I am obliged to confront the lies and programming, remain buried in shame, or simply get drunk. 

Many of the Spirits of Fire once believed that there could be no return. Trauma dictates that we remain imprisoned:  Your innocence is forever damaged, so goes the trauma lie. Your aspiration and dreams are unattainable. For you, there can be no joy or happiness.

So many heroes have crossed through a similar mystical death as the one I now approach. They experienced transformation, then found the sacred threshold and returned home to celebrate the joy. Like fog that covers the mountains at dawn, the presence of the true Self remains concealed until the morning of one’s awakening. When our indestructible light emerges from within, the return threshold of believing opens, and wholeness is revealed.