I was sitting around a fire with some friends last weekend and someone asked the question, “How do you get someone to love more or be more compassionate?” Immediately there was an answer.
“Would you have sat down around this fire if there was no fire before you arrived?”
“…Well, I guess… No.”
“I invited you here because I wanted to share this fire with you.”
Confused? Everyone was too, at first.
Love is a fire. I love feeling love, so I will make sure my fire is always burning bright. I will attract people to my fire and invite them to feel the warmth, allowing me to brighten my fire to accommodate for the people that are being attracted to me. I will make my fire so big and bright that even people walking from miles away are able to see my fire, knowing that it will be burning when they arrive.
If I was standing outside around an empty fire pit, do you think that people, searching for warmth, would stop and hang out? If I didn’t have the interest to build a fire, no one who is looking for warmth would stop by my fire pit. Furthermore, no one would be able to convince me to start a fire because due to my lack of interest. Even if I did want to spend time with people, I could stand at my fire pit yelling for people to stop by as they pass, but I would be offering nothing that they need.
We are only in control of our own fires. If I am not interested in building a fire, it doesn’t matter how cold you or anyone else is, I am not building a fire and, in return, no one is stopping by my fire pit to share the warmth.
The point of this is to relay the message that we are only in control of how we spread our love. We cannot control how another person loves, regardless as to how much we want them to feel love.
Stop trying to force someone to build a fire. If they don’t want to build a fire, they’re not going to build it. Instead, focus on your fire. Focus on adding wood to allow the fire to grow. Make it bright so people can see it from miles away and want to join your fire. You can only spread the love you are willing to feel for yourself. Start by doing small acts of self-love.
Show yourself compassion.
Take yourself on a date.
Spend too much time exercising. Exercise not your thing? Well, find your thing and spend too much time doing it!
Tell yourself you look good.
Tell yourself how amazing you are.
Eat food that nourishes your body and gives you energy.
By increasing the amount of love that you feel for yourself, allows the amount of love you can give out to others to also increase. If you want others to feel love or display more love, then lead them by showing them just how big your fire can become. Maybe that will encourage them to start building their fire; until then, keep yours big and keep yours bright.
Monique Hayes is an intuitive health coach, Reiki Master, bakeologist, and educator. After completing her MPH, she quit the corporate health world to pursue her own mission of helping people heal from the inside out. She loves working with people, helping them transform into the happiest and healthiest version of themselves. Healthy, delicious food, connecting with nature, understanding the wants and needs of your body, and being authentically you in an inauthentic world are extremely important to her.