The Hero(Ine)

Heroes and Heroines Made ~

A volunteer firefighter once cautiously told me the story of a little girl he rescued a few years before. The events of the rescue and the realities of what the little girl had been through left this fearless, barrel-chested, adventurer traumatized—having to leave his long-time beloved volunteer position due to anxiety and nightmares (and day-mares).

A year later he stood by the lake looking across the waters where the rescue took place in complete peace and sent me a text to let me know the gratitude he felt for what we had done to clear the trauma in those few moments a year before. 

He had been the hero of the little girl’s life, now he felt like the hero of his own again, too.

All too often we judge ourselves for the results of our fearlessness rather than acknowledge the bravery itself. This man had been traumatized for sure, but equally so, embarrassed that he could be affected. 

When both were gone, he saw the event through the eyes of his love and passion for life, and he was free to jump again into any fire he wished.

“We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk the tables being turned…

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived 
If your standing outside the fire.

There’s this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly, higher and higher
I can’t abide standing outside the fire.” 

~Lyrics of song, Standing Outside the Fire, by Jenny L. Yates and Garth Brooks

It takes a certain fearlessness, to walk into a fire, to risk ourselves for ourselves, or for another. Sure, you could say its adrenaline and skill driving the rescue. But what about your everyday fearlessness to walk into a conversation—without defense, or a courtroom with faith. 

To open your heart again; trust yourself with a child’s heart; to patent an idea and get it on the market, to stand in protection of another, or state an intention that asks for your true desire and not just what you think is possible. 

Of course, any fire we walk into we intend to put it out, to make the rescue, or to succeed and come out the other side. If you get burned in the meantime, take care not to judge yourself by your results. As Theodore Roosevelt reminds us, “…the credit belongs to the man [woman] who is actually in the arena…so that his [her] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Return to your fearlessness again and again, live by its fire. What calls upon you now to be the hero or heroine of your life? To put out a fire, to walk into one…to start one.

Here’s to more of you in the world ❤️


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