On my altar, for the last 15 years or so, I have kept a partially-burned birthday candle – one from the birthday of that year. On my birthday I burn it, then replace it with one from the new year… and eventually… there will be a candle remaining on my altar that I won’t get to burn.
Hopefully it’s not the one on that is on there now, but I certainly know that it very well could be.
It’s a reminder of how incredibly sacred the opportunity to be here is, and to fully embrace my life with every. single. thing. that I got… because I don’t know how long I’ll have it.
It is a reflection of my vulnerability, and so it helps me stay humble. And it helps me remain grateful – grateful that I’m here, regardless of how hard things can get. Grateful that I’m still here. And simply here – in the first place.
The act of lighting the candle once a year is filled with this gratitude, and it stands as an offering of myself – that I may serve as purely and deeply as I can in this time. To fucking GO FOR IT – to do the work, sit in the fire, and show up fully while I can. It is a reminder to honor and remember how fragile all of us are -in or longings to be safe, loved, supported and empowered. It asks of me if I am living life in a good way, if I’m honoring my heart full. It asks me if I can be more impeccable and integrous will my all of my relationships. It is yet another reminder for me to keep the fires of radical ownership and self-responsibility going strong, so that I may continue to whittle away at any remaining barriers to receptivity, curiosity, patience and love.