It has taken me a long time to blog again. I had many excuses. My goodness, it is almost like a Country Western song. I was working full time in a military contract while tending my dog, sick and needing attention. I attempted to contribute to a book chapter (not well, mind you, because of the military contract). I was volunteering in what gives my life meaning – environmental justice. And, to top it off, I started to review narratives for continued research in workplace bullying. I barely had time to go through emails, make plane connections, attend conferences, and I was committed to hold up social media for an organization as a volunteer. I was dancing as fast as I could and I was failing me. I became involved with superfluous stuff.
I was laid off September 30, 2016 so why did it still take me this long? I became lost along the way. It wasn’t pretty. I had much soul searching. Politics were a focus and I was lost in the conflicts within our political system. And then, on Monday, March 13th, my dog Luna, was put to sleep. I held her, petted her, and spoke to her on how wonderful a dog she had been her few nine years with me. Luna had been my lifesaver when there was no perceived support system through everything I had been through. I was a mess emotionally from her death but I am better. I still cried when scheduling appointments for my other dog, Rosie while explaining Luna’s death. They always did things together.
Last week, someone wrote on Facebook “Who do you need to be to get what you want?” I thought about that carefully but these words tumbled from my keyboard effortlessly: “I believe we evolve (or grow) into that which holds meaning to us.” Human beings are in a constant state of being, of growing.” Essentially, it is not that we have to have what we want but what we need. I need passion in my life again. I needed to set my “self” on fire again and clear out the debris and stumbling rocks.
The Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines this saying as “to set on fire, to communicate with fire, to inflame, to ignite the passions, to irritate.” Protestors literally set themselves on fire to protest injustices. For terrorists, they explode themselves, vehicles, or aircraft, to kill others. These examples are poor self-expression to win others over to their plight or injustice. To a certain extent, I have been imploding myself by not focusing on what holds “meaning” in my life.
To me, “setting my ‘self’ on fire” is using the fire in me to ignite the interests and fire in others. I have many interests but few passions. When something, an injustice, or a way of seeing things, ignites the passion within, the soul is set on fire to share and ignite that fire in others. For those of opposing views, that passion irritates in a big way. And this, my friends, is where I will need to focus – on the passions to the exclusion of other interests and that morbid fascination with politics.
I am narrowing down my focus to that which will give meaning to what is left of my life. I hope you enjoy your life’s journey, too. After all, it is about Thriving, not surviving.