Life as I knew it blazed away the day my house burned to the ground. The devastating wildfire demolished 21 homes and killed three of my neighbors. After years of overcoming addiction, cancer, pregnancy losses, and the deaths of dear friends, the pieces of my life had come together and my business was “on fire.” But with that crisis, who I thought I was burned up as well.
By allowing myself a year of full-fledged grief, I rose from the ashes hoping to keep my hard-earned wisdom. Instead, my rising phoenix crashed and burned again. The following year was ripe with more “opportunities” that involved change and loss. I did not like it one bit. The more I resisted, the more I suffered, yet all along I believed I was supposed to have transcended all of that.
I was at a crossroads. I had to let go of the myth of the hero’s journey as I knew it: We fail, fight, overcome, and triumph. I craved a more forgiving approach rather than thinking I should overcome all my difficulties and live in bliss. I made peace with life as a flame-filled journey, and instead, embraced the archetype of a Firewalker.
Fire represents our pain but also sparks our growth, our light, our transformation. Fires may be literal—like the one that destroyed my home—or metaphorical, such as illness, death, or other losses.
Losing my physical home was the beginning of a journey to find my true home, and I discovered that quest is a lifelong expedition. I finally let go of the concepts of arriving at perfection, uninterrupted bliss at the end of a trial, ultimately overcoming crisis, and never doubting again. I befriended my darkness. As a Firewalker, I learned to embrace the difficulties in the present moment without thinking there was something wrong I needed to fix. I became willing to walk through fire, again and again, and accept it as my path.
I didn’t walk alone. I traveled with other Firewalkers.
In the past, I believed that if my path did not lead into the heavens after my time in the darkness, I was truly in trouble. But after walking through fire continuously, I found that I am able to dance on the brink of the abyss because, deep down in my bones, I know I am okay. And when I forget, my fellow Firewalkers help me remember. We remind each other. As I return to my wisdom, I hear the quiet voice inside whispering, Everything will be fine. I know I can and will walk through anything.
To find your way home, I invite you to find your fellow Firewalkers. We recognize each other by the glint in our eyes, the cracks in our heart, the scars on our skin, and love in our hearts.
Firewalkers will continue to rise, again and again. For a Firewalker, there is no “right” way to move through life. Coming home to ourselves is a lifelong remembering to allow our own process and journey—and allow others to have theirs as well.
Each time we walk through fire, we are faced with the opportunity to be scarred for life—or to truly transform and rise again and again, like the phoenix.