Trusting the Fire

It’s an accurate statement that I’m a bit of a pyromaniac. As a fireman’s daughter, I was taught fire safety from a very young age and I still practice stopping, dropping and rolling – only it’s not for the same purposes. Though as much effort as my father put into to teaching me the best practices as they pertain to open flames and gray smoke, if there is a candle around, I still want to dip my finger in the wax. I like lighting matches just for the hell of it and my idea of the perfect end to an August evening is sitting around a campfire, attempting to perfect the toasted marshmallow.

With my experience in fire-loving, I’ve learned a few things about getting one started and about extinguishing them. While the flames are always so appealing and they make you feel so warm to be near, distance is best. If you get too close, you run the risk of getting burned or of putting out the fire before it has time to grow or to really heat up anything. A flame does best when it has something to burn, with a little more added here and there to keep it going. It prefers a soft breeze to a gush of wind and it’ll grow hotter if you give it space.

Being in a relationship and developing trust within it – is a lot like playing with fire. Actually, it’s a lot like flirting with fire. You’re trying to entice success and get close without getting too close, constantly teetering on the edge of a booming romance and damned disaster. At any given moment, it feels like it can go either way.

Mr. Possibility and I obviously had some issues to work out concerning trust. I’m not someone who naturally trusts anyone – I believe it is better to be earned than just given without any consultation. Prove to me you’re trustworthy and I’ll forever trust you, prove to me the opposite and you’ll spend a lot of time earning the trust you never had.

Even so – I’m learning that the natural reaction to developing trust (spending endless amounts of time together) is one that I shouldn’t encourage. Sure, being around someone 24/7, never having to wonder where they are or who they’re with or what they’re doing seems like the perfect way to show their loyalty, but if you squeeze too tightly, you end up putting all the fire out. Like they say, nothing can bloom in shade.

Without room, without giving each other some space to develop true trust, nothing can build, no fire can accumulate. The spark won’t get stronger if you’re constantly fanning it or hovering over it, praying and hoping it won’t go out. To keep it strong, to create something you can rely on, you have to learn to have faith in the space. You have to give it fodder without putting it out.

And you have to believe – in yourself, in your partner and in the relationship. But most of all, you have to believe that sometimes flames start steady and never last, some struggle but end up lighting up the whole room, some are so hot you melt, but burn out quicker than you like, and sometimes, with the right combination of everything, you find a fire that not only keeps you warm, but reminds you why having flames of passion isn’t as important as having trust that it’ll stay lit.