How I Lost Myself and Found My Fire

“Passion is the oxygen of the soul.” Bill Butler

Fire is life; but my fire was almost completely extinguished; only a few embers remained.

I had been married for 11 years to a perfectly good man. He had a good job, worked out, watched football and had good relationships with his family. He packed his lunch every day, ironed his clothes on Sunday for the week ahead, said, “please” and “thank you.”

I distracted myself with my career and put my marriage on auto pilot.

I did all the things I was supposed to do and had all the things I was supposed to have. But I was slowly dying inside.

I had lost myself. I had no passion in my life and giving a voice to my desires seemed selfish and somewhat dangerous, so I kept those hidden in a dark corner of my soul.

The fire of my life had a very tight lid on it for many years. And when oxygen – in the form of my desires and passions – couldn’t reach the fire, it was slowly being extinguished.

Oxygen came to me in the form of a man that I knew I shouldn’t be drawn to; but I was.

Some of my coaching clients have had their oxygen come in the form of people they’ve met, visiting a foreign country or through a tragic event.

Oxygen can take many forms, but the one similarity is that once you know what it feels like to breathe it in deeply, you can’t live without it and you can’t suppress the truth: that we were not made to be smothered, small, weak and dying inside.

We begin questioning and challenging the pieces of our lives: our relationships, our careers and our deeply held beliefs. Suddenly, we want all pieces of our life to begin to light up and we can get a bit rebellious and carefree in the process.

As women we are told, both directly and indirectly, that stirring up our passions and feeding our desires is wrong. After all, we are the caretakers and the nurturers. We are the compassionate guardians and the devoted mothers.

We are all those things, but we are also the lover and the fighter. We are also the driven professional and the passionate creative. We are the open heart, the courageous hero and the powerful, soulful, divine presence.

When we feed our fire by discovering and honoring our desires, there is a light within all of us that will shine brightly. Our embers will burn and we will be able to live with heart and with wholeness – open and authentic, vulnerable and strong.

Fire isn’t a bad thing; fire is life. And in my life, I fully intend to fan the flame.