Mary Beth says: "There is a German expression: ich würde die Hand dafür ins Feuer legen, which means: “I would put my hand in the fire for that.” I learned it many years ago, while reading the Best Reference Letter Ever: written by a very distinguished linguistics professor for a student who went on to win a prestigious international scholarship. This student, he said, was destined for greatness; and he submitted his judgment with the certainty of the expression above.I’ve always held the concept as a very important indicator in my mind. “Would I put my hand in the fire for that?” I sometimes think, and it helps me to make a decision or see a situation more clearly. It’s similar to “is this the battlefield I want to die on?”These days (certainly as every day) there seems to be so much difficulty, wrong, pain, injustice, and mismanagement in our world, and I need a little revitalization. Often when I feel this way, I’ll write a list of things for which I’m grateful, but that’s certainly been done, and I need a bit of a stronger draught.So, what are five things for which would you put your hand in the fire? Things / people / causes in which you believe passionately and completely? This might be demonstrated in that you would take extraordinary (for you) action…donations, marching, writing letters…or merely in the way you live your life. You may give as much or as little detail as you wish."
1) Family. Starting with R and extending out to his people which are also now mine. This is a new and wonderful thing for me to belong in this way to a group of people who take this bond seriously. Even as the newest "outlaw" in the bunch I know without a moment's hesitation that I would indeed put my hand in the fire for him and his and that it would be 100% reciprocal.
2) I am trying to leave a smaller footprint. I don't know how passionate that sounds, but it is a steady, daily commitment. Trying to be conscious of my impact on the environment and walking more gently on the earth by recycling and reusing and being generally more conscious about the impact of my choices.
3) Communication. Spoken, written...whatever it is. I work hard at trying to be honest and transparent and clear. At not using words to manipulate or as weapons. I try to teach others to do the same.
4) My Spiritual Life. I have always been passionate about God. I would put my hand in the fire for God and my need for that relationship. Sometimes in my life that passion went off in some interesting directions. Sometimes the passion, like in any long relationship, had to be reawakened and revitalized (on my part of course...I'm pretty sure God's is more steady and unwavering). But in the end God/the relationship is always there and I could not live without.
5) Participating in Healing. I couldn't think of exactly the right word/phrase for this one....but I am passionate (at least most of the time) about being able to participate in this amazing thing that goes on for people as they discover their capacity to heal and recover from whatever they are struggling with when they come to therapy. To be able to offer them skills and tools and to be able to be there with them as they discover how to use them....well it's pretty darn amazing, and I'd stick my hand in any fire for the privilege of doing so.