This post is part of our quarter theme on passions.
“Fire is not your friend,” Dustfinger often cautions in the pages of Inkheart, a young adult novel by Cornelia Funke I’ve been reading to my ten year old son. Yet, even as fire is not a friend, it is Dustfinger’s muse. He’s a fire tamer who juggles, breathes, and plays with the flames that do not love him back. Fire is fitful and takes practiced skill to control.
Do you play with fire?
When I think of “passions” I think of fire, flames, and burning. Raging hormones, untamed desire, unchecked interest or angry wrath are all lumpily lodged into the word passion. The heat of the fires they can rage into rolls them into the same hot mess.
Sometimes I feel like one.
As a blessing of having a body to feel it and at the curse of being subject to one, I’ve known volatile passion of my own. There are times I just get really, really mad.
My husband calls me his firecracker. I can burn hot and fast and furious. Exploding out of my self for release at times is real temptation I work to stomp out. When I’m really frustrated in the confines of my own skin and situation I long for a release valve to let off steam. I’ve been known to shake my fists, stomp my feet or yelp at the stress. Yet, unlike Dustfinger in Inkheart, I’m not so bold as to create a spectacle of my fire breathing act. I keep that show to myself as much as possible.
But recently as I was burning hot in a fit of passion I paused on the verge of letting it all flame out; I thought of my children who were with me in the car, and closed my mouth to swallow the coal. It was fine for them to know I was not happy, but I didn’t want them to hear the text of vitriol I was scripting in my hot head. I realized I wanted resolution not revenge. I wanted acknowledgement, not anguish.
Deal with problems- use boldness, but not overbearance- but first check yourself- bridle your passions- don’t extinguish them but tame them. Inaction isn’t an answer- refrain from idleness.
Soft answers don’t seem to satisfy fire, but they do stop its spread.
I’d rather singe my own lips closing them than spark another fire by spewing it.
So instead I channeled my indignation into a sink full of dishes. And when that wasn’t enough I emptied the dishwasher. And loaded it. And wiped all the counters. And spot mopped the floor. And then it happened.
I felt my inky anguish in my own heart start to ebb. By choosing not to say grievous words I discovered my own anger was no longer stirred. The flames dwindled without additional fuel.
Are you a fiery personality too? How do you tame your frustration so you can fill with love?