What it is

“It is what it is,” they love to tell me — “they” being the folks around me who prize equanimity and feel regular urges to prove their elevation above it all by simply accepting what is as “what is.”

Perhaps I am not quite as advanced as they. Perhaps I need more sleep.

I have been wandering around in a daze for two days, since I last walked across glowing coals in a show of faith.

Faith… in what? In the act of walking across glowing coals — the remains of a gigantic fire lit in the middle of nowhere.

Cultures have been walking on fire, coals, lava, hot chains, and more, for as long as we have had questions. This is nothing new, really. Just another go-round of proving that something improbable can be done.

The first time I did this thing, two weks ago, I was quite sure I would never do it again.

Now, I’m not so sure I’m ever going to NOT be able to do it again.

There’s something about that act, the removing of shoes in the heart of a bitterly cold winter’s night, the stepping up to the line of  fire, and stepping forward. Not lingering, but moving. Moving quickly. With purpose. With intention.


I accept that the coals are hot and burn. I accept that it scares the living daylights out of me to stand barefoot before the fire.

I accept the challenge. And move.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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