“Heat is required to forge anything. Every great accomplishment is the story of a flaming heart.” … Mary Lou Retton
Eleven years ago I lost my 18 year son to a car crash. Ten years ago everything in my life changed – my house, my relationship, my health … everything. As I came out of those two years I made myself a pledge: I promised myself that from that point on I would live my life always following the promptings of the Spirit within … after all … to paraphrase Isaiah 64:8 … we are all clay in the hands of a Master Potter. So … Nine years ago I went into hermit mode: to heal, to uncover me and to find out what that commitment that I had made meant.
Seven years ago I started to get the picture. During my time away from the world I discovered, amongst other things and to my complete surprise, that I am a natural artist. Who knew!??! I put back together the broken pieces, threw out the parts that didn’t work anymore (and if truth be told probably didn’t ever work well anyway) and took to asking myself the hard questions and actually answering them! In keeping with my new policy of being in alignment with the Truth of me I had a hard look at what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. What should I do? What could I do?
Now being one of those truly compassionate and caring people whom you meet in life my first thought was that I could take care of people – probably senior-type people. “O.K.” I said to myself. The next thought, as I got braver, was that I could help a few other women to also care for people. Well … now we’re going somewhere. It turns out that the Master Potter had a few ideas of His own about my path and generously spent the next two weeks pouring/sharing ideas of a company that would assist so many people to be more than they had imagined that they could be whilst simultaneously helping seniors, their families and more to regain or retain as much independence as they possibly could.
Wow … I have to admit that I had serious reservations about His choice of me as the implementor of this grand plan … but the ideas were marvelous … the passion that filled me (and still does) whenever I thought of it was uplifting and a not a day went by that I didn’t watch the light of inspiration come into the eyes of at least one person with whom I shared these thoughts. I was definitely on the path and if “every accomplishment is the story of a flaming heart” well I was ablaze.
The story might have ended there with a happily ever after kind of ending if weren’t for the fact that Monsieur M. Potter decided that my contributions to life would be even more greatly enhanced by turning up the heat … to blast furnace level. Three years ago I had a third of my right lung removed because an extremely rare, fibrotic tumour was crushing a major artery and airway. Two years ago I fell on the ice and the medical profession discovered that my whole left hip was one massive self-contained – extremely rare – tumour (again). And one and a half years ago it was discovered that I had – you guessed it – an extremely rare form of bone marrow cancer. I’m sensing a pattern here!
You remember those hard questions that I used to ask myself? Well the Master Potter and I turned up the heat on those as well and more broken bits got fixed and even more things and parts that didn’t work, never had and never would got chucked out. I came out the other side of a treatment regime that promised to take me out to death’s door and then bring me back (and they kept their promise on BOTH) parts, and discovered a whole new meaning to the phrase “through the refining fire”.
Today, as I walk along the roads and pathways of life my passion for that original vision is stronger than ever. It burns in me like a flame that never goes out. I guess it must be pretty bright because despite the fact that physically I can’t do as much as I did before people who need help are finding me and men and women whose passion is also to help others are hearing about me and adding their own uniqueness to the vision. My mother used to say that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Thanks mom. I guess the heat of Life’s kiln baked out a whole load of impurities and left me clear and ready to roll. Whoo-Hoo!
This week why not have a little look at your life. Everyone has had challenges. Everyone has had their own fires to walk through. This week take a moment to reexamine some of yours. This time instead of only seeing the sadness’ or angers that arose try to uncover one way in which you were – or could have been – changed for the better. I know – “better” isn’t a word that we usually apply to those times, however, it’s never too late to rewrite your old stories and give them a new ending. Find a way to let the refining fire of Life kindle a flame within you and burn away the chaff from the past. “Heat is required to forge anything” … this week start the forging of your own bright future.
Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone