We need more people to stand in their flames. To say, “Here I am. Yes I am cloaked in this…but that does not define where I am going to be. Because if I stand in my flames, they will almost surely put themselves out. But if I lay down to die, I will certainly turn to ash.” When you stand in your flames and accept your condition, you leave yourself open to putting that fire out. Without acceptance, those flames will always be burning. I don’t think anyone needs tangible proof of what I am saying here.

This past week I was going through some interesting stuff, things that I will never forget, and I came to some pretty strong realizations. I realized that we must not only love our condition, but love the conditions of those around us. The concept of unconditional love comes to mind. The fact that no matter what, you will love that other person, flames or not, and accept them for exactly the way they are. But something else came to mind that made me stop dead in my tracks today. I have someone in my life who is different, incredible, and challenges me. But what ended up happening this past week was that I was in my own flames, wasn’t exactly sure of what to do, and the stresses of what I was going through caused me to be blind to what was actually being said versus what I was interpreting it to be. What I came to, is that I realized that she was challenging me to be something greater than I was being…and the shell of my old self through the reading of the book multiple times over was fighting back. It was emotional. It was blind. Most of all, it was shortsighted.

I am usually incredibly introspective. I can see what is going on with me and understand it. But throughout this process, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Like I said the other night, I got to the week before the book launch and felt absolutely miserable. Why? Because all my fears, doubts, and insecurities were lined up like a firing squad ready to take me out. And they did. They took me right out of my game because I had absolutely no idea that all of this was going to happen in the dawning days right before a dream turned into a reality. No one told me it was going to happen like this. There was of course the conversation about obstacles, but there was no conversation about the deep dark stuff that was all going back in the internal enemies last stand. I have been at war…and I wasn’t prepared for this last battle adequately. But I rallied my troops…flanked my fears…and now I stand walking in the ashes of the flames that were once there. I defeated those fears…and I have this feeling inside of me that I can carry forever: certainty.

I just know in my bones.

My last thought for today is this – when you are with other people who are going through something, you have to understand that you can’t fix anything for them. Because if they don’t learn it for themselves, and go through it with their mind driving the progress, they will always hide the flames somewhere…never to fully be put out. You must stand with them…as a team. Not behind them, not in front of them…but right next to them. Because while things are on fire in your life, it is a dark black fire that no one can see but the person who is going through it. There are no flames that light the way. So you must be that confidant, that individual who holds the lantern with them while they walk, and when they are too afraid to make their own footsteps, you help carry them. You go on a journey together…and even if you can’t see the end result, or you don’t even know the flames that they are dealing with, you have to have as much faith  as you possibly can…that eventually…you will end in a place of light.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project