The Candle of Vitality
We have all heard the expression “burning the candle at both ends”. Have you ever thought to stop and consider what this really means though?
This is the way I described it to my stepson…
When we are born, we each have a candle inside of us. The flame of the candle is our vitality; our life energy. While the candle is burning, we are still alive.
The candle we are given is of a fixed length. We cannot make it any longer. That means that one day, each of our candles will burn out.
If we make choices to eat junk food, not exercise, have poor quality relationships, not manage our mental health, take drugs and/or to drink too much alcohol; we start to burn the candle at both ends. We make it shorter.
This does not mean we should 100% avoid these activities though. Hell, lots of people like a bit of junk food and a sluggish day on the sofa every now and then. Accepting responsibility for our actions means that we can still do these things but doing so with the knowledge and acceptance of the consequences.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
It is not all doom and gloom though… you see, when we choose to eat a balanced diet, get the right amount of sleep, train our bodies to be fit and healthy, dedicate time to learning about the world and expanding our perspective… a curious thing happens.
Our candle gets thicker!
A thicker candle will burn more brightly while at the same time reducing its length at a shorter rate.
If you invest in your candle by making positive choices, you can gain the freedom to burn it a little at both ends. When you establish the right equilibrium, the whole system stays in balance.
My stepson still remembers this story. The image of his candle in his minds eye has helped him to accept responsibility for the choices that he is making. I hope this little image gives you and your family clarity and aids your decision-making too.
Life is just a sequence of choices and actions. Moment to moment to moment…
You are the only person responsible for your candle. When it burns bright and strong everyone around you can bathe in its warmth.
Enjoy, for now.