“Freely fly as what you are, and never walk in shame.
You must not fear to blister, if you’d live a life in flame.”
– From the song “Firebird’s Child,” by S.J. Tucker
I have what one might call “an appreciation for non-conformity.” I was always the weird one growing up, and even now that I’ve found people like myself, I am still weird. And you know what? That’s ok!
It’s not a crime to be you. Indeed, you should let nothing hold you back from such. Stand, move forward, take flight, live your dreams, and never be ashamed of who you are.
That, right there, is much of what I’ve always loved about this song by S.J. Tucker. Haters gonna hate anyway, so why bother trying to please them? Instead, let go of your fears and spread your wings like the firebird and his titular daughter, and never mind those who disapprove. It’s your life, so do as you like.
That’s a worthy message, I believe, though I would modify it slightly as, “Live your life however you want, so long as you do not hurt yourself or those around you.” 😉
That’s a pretty good philosophy, yes?
But recently, I realized another meaning to the words. Particularly, “You must not fear to blister, if you’d live a life in flame.” I never really got that until just now.
What is that thing which holds us back most often? When we know we need to do something, when we have a dream we want to pursue, when we see something wrong happening… why do we do nothing? The answer, or at least one answer, is fear. We are intimidated. We are afraid. We don’t think we can do that remarkable thing we want to do so badly.
If we stand up, won’t we just get knocked down again?
If we step into the fire… won’t we burn?
Yet, the firebird’s daughter doesn’t just enter flames, and pass through them… she lives in them. She dances in her father’s burning tail feathers. Why? Because that is when and where she is happy, and while there is a certain risk to herself, she is also protected and safe. If she were distracted or deterred by the fear of burning, she could never dance as she does, or live she does.
It is worth noting here that she does take some precautions against burning. It’s one thing to live as you love to, and it is quite another to be reckless and stupid about it. These are not the same thing! 😉
That said, there remains a fine line between “prudence” and “fear.”
Take me for instance. My biggest fear about possibly, in my wildest dreams, becoming a successful author is… being in front of people. I am weird, an introvert, and not very sociable to begin with, and, if I am honest, part of me simply fears being judged for my weirdness and my imperfections. If I step into the flame we call “the spotlight,” will I be able to handle the burns and blisters?
Yet, as I look at myself, I’m already trying to do just that with this, my blog. Yet I still hide behind a pseudonym and a website, and there’s been virtually nothing about me on my “About” page. In essence, I’ve been trying to put myself out there while also trying to not put myself out there. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
But, if this is the fire I want to step into, live in, dance in… I can’t let my fear stop me, can I?
Better to stand, to dance, to fly, than to crawl around, afraid to look up. To let my fear stop me is to live my life in the shadow of shame.
In that spirit, I have just updated my “About” page. There’s an actual introduction, for one thing, and a picture. Now you can know a bit about me, myself, the man behind “Merlin.”
It’s just a small thing, really. But it’s my small way of trying to let go of my fears, one step at a time.
I do hope we can all be friends! 🙂
And I want to thank itistrish for inspiring me like this. It may seem small, especially as we just barely became aware of each other through the Sunshine Award thing, but I noticed that you were not afraid to straight up show us who you are, including your beliefs. Not to be a copycat, but you have inspired me to do likewise!
Thank you! 🙂