When you have pursued your dreams and lost your way.
Something has been creeping up within my consciousness recently. It terrifies me. I’m not sure why or how it happened, but it did and now I feel ill. As if you found out someone took a vital organ and you have a limited amount of time to get it back, but you realised everything was missing months, or even years ago. Now you have lost all that time and you only have a few days to live.
My situation isn’t actually that dramatic, but it’s mine, so it feels dramatic to me.
I approach everything in life with a passion like a tsunami hitting an exploding volcano. When I walk the walk I walk it like wave sweeping across the land and change everything in my life as I do it. I also operate under the principle that you never fail, you only learn.
Perhaps it’s a defence mechanism so I never feel the sting of real failure, but it helps me stay positive in an energy depleting world.
Regardless, I realised recently that I’d lost my desire. And not just my desire for the things I fought to do, but my desire for everything. My excitement for everything had numbed to a “well I used to enjoy this so maybe it will help now” feeling. The heart swelling, soul bursting fire that drove me is embers and that is terrifying. That is the spark of life within me and without it, what am I to do?
I feel cold from the loss of it.
But how did I lose it?
I know how I lost it.
I was walking down a road and so many people put their logs on my heart fire. My needs were all met and every time I hit resistance I consumed it with my flame. I could do anything. I could conquer anything. I was sharp, I had strength, I was energetic, curious and eternally optimistic. Like a student fresh out of school about to change the world. I had so much given to me and it made it easy.
I had a level of freedom to explore, create and celebrate. I only had myself to carry and it was incredible. My naivety kept me safe from the pitfalls as I danced on the edge of a cliff.
Then I let a man tap into my joy, my energy and my life. Before I knew what was happening I found myself hollow, unconfident, feeling worthless, and feeling like I was a burden on everyone around me. Thank goodness that ended! But as a kneejerk to escape from that I went and worked overseas on cruise ships for over eight months.
For the enormous adventure it was, for all the confidence it trained into me, it was exhausting. I was so glad to be back on land when everything was said and done. But I came back sick. My guts revolted at being torn between my new love of travel, adventure and the sea, and my love of home, pets and consistency. I was more sick than I’d been in my entire life.
I also came back to land to find that everyone had changed. So many of my loved ones had fallen ill, fallen apart, or completely shattered. I was overcome with guilt at leaving in the first place. How could I be so selfish as to put a silly life changing adventure before the well being of those I cherished on land?
I think that was the first time I lost my passion. I believed I was spiritually responsible for the health and happiness of those around me. Suddenly, I wasn’t pursuing my dreams for me. I wasn’t pursuing them for a greater purpose. I was trying to desperately keep things together.
I scrambled to juggle everyone else’s lives as well as my own. I plunged into the cold waters and restructured everything so I could manage everything for everyone else. But it wasn’t enough. I invested deeply in mending what I blamed myself for falling apart. I blamed myself for not watering what was my community garden and all the plants drying up.
By investing in these things I set myself up to fail. My heart broke with a cold sledgehammer as I lost what I poured hours into. Then it just seemed like every time I tried to build it up again I was told I couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t be able to. Instead of everything being at my behest, I built in spaces where others could swipe down my new framework.
Humans are such communal creatures, and as a fae masking as a human, I try so hard to be like them. I thought pursuing my writing with the gusto I had pursued natural medicine with, would get me through. Surely no one could take that from me too, right?
Four years on since two of what used to be my mentors tore me down to confetti, I am still realising how wrong I was.
It’s not like me to blame anyone else for my behaviour, but having to share space means having to share responsibility, and I can’t yet fully accept that this was all on me. Perhaps it would have been better to be alone. I had been given so much help along the way, but the emotional bank account sits at $0 for all the withdrawals made back out.
And so I sit here, trying to write my way back to my flame. As I walked the road towards my dream I realised I let people pour just as much water on me as they put logs on my heart fire. I clutch at the embers crying over their little red glints, desperately wishing they would spark back into flame.
But my personal kindling is nearly empty and I’m frightened that if I turn to get just a bit more someone will splash me and it will go out for good. I’m frightened that if I leave the path to find more for myself that I’ll get lost. But I can’t sit here in the road crying and scared for much longer. The embers are nearly out, and if they go out, so will I.
But how do I rekindle it?
How do I claim back that passion that would burn so brightly on fumes alone? It used to run on nothing more than ideas. Did it become corporeal when I made it so? How do I return it to its magical state? That ethereal state that was untouchable by all, even me.
I have said to students in the past how you lose the magic of your art when you make it your business, which is true, but now I need it back. I need to find my way full circle, all the way back around to that child-like wonder.
How do I rekindle my magical flame?
Visualising it helps for a short time. Summoning it also helps. It used to be constant and effortless, though. I wonder if I should get a mundane job to take the financial pressure off until it grows? My first thoughts are to focus on building another business to supplement the slower growing one. But I am so tired.
I’m sitting in the road crying over my embers because I cannot stand. My legs are weak, my skin sags. My throat chokes as it dries in the smoky air.
A motherly voice strokes my hair. “Rhiannon. You need to rest. You need nourishment. You need to lay down.”
But the world moves so fast. What if I miss out on opportunities? What if I let my community down? What if they leave me? What if things break while I’m gone? I can’t risk resting because things go wrong when I rest. My pets die or go missing when I’m on excursions. I come back to fights. I come back to mess. Things get broken beyond repair and the world goes to shit when I’m not there. I’m the only one who can hold the whole world together!
“Rhiannon. You need to rest. You need nourishment. You need to let me hold you. Trust that everything happens for a reason, exactly as it is meant to. Let me look after you while you find your light.”
My first tagline for my writing was “The light in the darkness.”
I think to rekindle my passion I need to take some time out. It may all be internal. It may be a little bit withdrawn. I don’t know what it will look like yet, but I need to spend some time reconnecting with me. I haven’t given myself this time for many years. Whenever I have tried to give myself this time I am racked with guilt that I’m not doing what other people need me to do.
To rekindle my passion for all the things I love, I’m going to focus on nourishing my soul. I’ll let you know how that’s going when I feels things healing.