When the heat is on


I took Jack walking today, and we ended up out during an extremely hot point in the day. Originally there were lots of clouds around, but when we arrived they had all disappeared. We walked a little bit, and took even more breaks. He had a wonderful time, and I watched all the runners and cyclists as they rode around.

From all I could see the heat was pretty stifling. I remember when I was younger how much more energy it took to play games in the afternoon instead of in the evening. It didn’t stop us from playing, but I would dare to say that most of us held our stamina longer and made better decisions when we weren’t trying to win games in the oppressive heat. And this is true of many situations.

Sometimes we have to push through the heat. Sometimes there are no other options. But there are more times when if we would just wait it out and let the heat die down, even just a degree or two, it makes all the difference. Having the patience to not try to fight the fire is hard. We don’t know how long it’s going to last or what it might burn up in the process. When we are standing back and just watching from the sidelines, that urge to do more tends to kick in. We feel like we just have to do something. We have to fight through it, and make things happen right now. We have to stop it. We have to fix it. We can’t just sit there.

But patience is a virtue. (at least that’s what they say). And in reality, in a large number of cases if we decide to take on the heat, to run into the fire, we end up only feeding the fire. It billows up. The problems grow. Now everyone is at risk, when before we were in a position to do something once the heat died down. We have to be willing to wait it out. To have patience. To remain calm. To remain in control. We have to make sure that we only fight when necessary and that we are equipped to do so. Whether you’re shouting or quiet, whether you are explaining it away or searching fervently for the answer, if you are standing in a fire you are no match for the fire. Without the right gear, without a spare supply of oxygen, without other people helping you to work to put out the fire, you’re simply standing in the fire. And that heat, those flames will quickly consume you. You won’t know which was is up, much less out. No one will understand what you are saying. But if you stand outside, you wait it out and let the heat pass, suddenly the path has been cleared for you. So don’t buy into the fury. Don’t listen to the hate. Don’t participate in storms that will only get you clobbered. Stand your ground. Know your goal. And wait for the path to clear.

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on July 12, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. Great analogy. One can actually visualize the fire and the need to stay back and stand firm.

  2. So I thought I might add something you might enjoy reading, reading your post made me think just waiting in general like stopping in the park and waiting on the bench just enjoy sitting there even if there’s nothing to do. I find it’s hard at time because we’re in such a rush to be so “effective” and get everything done. If you fight the urge and just sit the I find it’s almost as good as meditation or yoga, break that habit of hurrying up to get everything done because there will always be something to follow.

    As always don’t forget to smile! (^_^)

    • It is, you are right! Thanks for making that point. One of my most vivid memories from when my nephews were little is one day after they got out of the pool, and everyone else went inside at my grandma’s house, we just sat outside on the swing and we sat. We didn’t talk much. We were just sitting, enjoying the night and the company. It’s one of my favorite things to look back on. 🙂

  3. good message – I thought I had a goal when I started my blog today. I got caught up in something that upset me and felt I needed to have my say. Wished I read this :Don’t participate in storms that will only get you clobbered. before I started!!!

    Oh well, hope I have my umbrella ready – thanks for great insights!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my place and like my post. You’re an awesome writer. Your post rings so true. Words to live by.


  5. herminestrand

    Yes, the flame does consume you if you plant yourself in the middle of it. We should all treat the flame like a real fire and not shove our hand in it and leave our hand there. On a less metaphorical level, it’s important to pick your battles and not tilt at windmills or waste energy. And on a totally superficial level, there’s a reason why people in some parts of the world have siestas. Thanks for such a fine multilayered post. It’s a great example of 21st-century esoteric writing, which is totally different from Plato’s. You’ve got a new loyal reader.

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate that. Picking your battles is so important! Thanks for pointing it out that way. I constantly remind myself of that as a parent. Pick your battles, pick your battles…. it helps!

  6. Jillian Carlon

    Very well said, thank you I for one needed a reminder. 🙂

  7. These are words of wisdom and experience . Heart warming thoughts that present a balanced viewpoint . I couldn’t agree more with you …. You are as wise as my wife is …. 🙂

  8. Your post on fire comes on the same day we have a fire drill here at work… Coincidence or the cosmos trying to tell me something?
    But a great post nonetheless. I am one of those that will run in with no thought given to the situation whatsoever.

    But that is just me on a typical day…

  9. Another wonderful post from you, I enjoyed reading. I love it how you link a lovely walk with jack in the heat into something deeper and it ends up giving us advise and making us think! I am though exactly like what you are descibing and have lots of patience what some people don’t understand. And probably you could send some of the heat..weatherwise…to England, as we struggle through the cool rainy “summer” days. Have a fantastic day, and I am looking forward to your next blog.

    • It’s good that you have lots of patience. I do in some areas, but in others I tend to hop right into the fire! My cousin was in Leeds in June and the high was 55 and back at her house here is was 92 with a heat index of 105. I think if we could let you borrow about 20 degrees everyone would be a lot happier! 🙂

  10. I find it interesting that so many can feel the same way and the same weight for different reasons and due to different circumstances. This all just proves that for all of our differences we are still all feeling humans.

  11. After having a pretty bad day, this was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all.

  12. Thank you for sharing your insights. There is much to learn by pausing to reflect in even the most ordinary situations, but we are often too busy rushing around to notice or share these insights.

    • Thank you! That’s so nice! and I think you are right. It’s very easy to be caught up. I think until I started this blog I was too caught up most of the time. That’s one of the things I love about writing 🙂

  13. Lauren, I shared this on my fb page. I think you’ll like what I said about it, and I hope a lot of people read it. 🙂

  14. Good advice….If we would only learn when the ‘fire’ starts not to fan it trying to blow it out..( been there done that )….but instead take some time out to see what is the best way to ‘fight’ it and that does take patience…Diane

    • Yes! It’s one of those things that I think everyone just has to gather from experience… and hopefully we pick up on it and learn to stop fanning it immediately. It would make things a whole lot easier! 🙂

  15. i love how you paint a wonderful picture with your writing and yes i have had no choice but to learn patience…sigh. 🙂

  16. This could not have come at a more perfect time… ! thanks for sharing such inspiration.

  17. thelastsongiheard

    Ohhhhhh, you have no idea what this means to me right now… LOL

  18. Great use of the heat metaphor. I agree. In life we have to push through difficulties in order to succeed.

  19. Wise words.

    -A. Tell

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