Every day became colder since that day in October when he told me it was done, so I left. It was a cold that permeated my bones, a harsh reminder of the warmth that previously surrounded our hearts. After saying farewell, we found ourselves adrift in a sea of confusion, weighed down by the weight of broken aspirations and promises. His words echoed in my mind, torturing me with their finality as I negotiated the lonely expanse of grief. But I was better on the other side of sobriety. It was a mantra, an appeal of strength in the face of hardship, as I sought protection in recovery. Each day became a struggle, demonstrating my constant will to overcome the suffering and restore my sense of self. I searched for a four-leaf clover, a sign of luck and hope, to help me get out of that problem. It was a desperate search, with a heartfelt plea spoken into the emptiness as I held onto the hope that salvation awaited me on the other side. But as the days moved into weeks, and then months, I understood that healing was a process, not a destination. In the quiet times of self-reflection surrounded by the calming embrace of isolation, I discovered the courage to repair my wounded heart and start a new path. The coldness gradually dissipated, replaced by the warmth of greater endurance and inner serenity. I learned to love the scars on my spirit because they demonstrated my strength and determination in the face of hardship. And, while the memories of that October day persisted, I found comfort in knowing that I emerged stronger, smarter, and more compassionate than before. It was in the depths of sorrow that I realized the genuine core of my humanity, and it was the challenges of lost love that gave me the confidence to love again. So, as I moved ahead, I took the lessons of loss with me, a ray of hope in the middle of darkness, directing me toward the promise of a better tomorrow. And I always recalled that even at my darkest moments, I was never alone, since love could heal even the most profound wounds.

“Perhaps I should just bury myself and become a diamond after thousands of years of intense pressure”
― Lemony Snicket

I remembered what was previously taught to me. Someone had mentioned that drinking was contaminated. It felt like years ago, yet the echo of those words persisted, winding through the halls of my memories. The voice, both forceful and empathetic, resonated in my head, transporting me back to the peaceful flow where we had stood together. As I thought, the cold air caressed my skin and the rustling leaves murmured stories of the past. The sunlight danced over the water’s surface, creating sparkling reflections that represented the depths of our collective psyche. I stood amid the beauty of nature, absorbing the wisdom that was shared with humility and honesty. “Drinking was unholy,” the words echoed with intensity and confidence. At that moment, I sensed the severity of the advice, as well as the speaker’s sincerity in encouraging me to choose the correct road. Despite the passage of time, the core of the counsel stayed inscribed in my heart, a light despite the uncertainty of life. “So, Lord, can you point me to the creek?” I said, seeking comfort in nature’s familiar grasp. The stream was a refuge of peace and contemplation, where the whispers of the wind blended with the beat of the flowing water. I took shelter in the peacefulness of the moment. And I kept those words, that wisdom, nestled behind the layers of shared experiences that connected my life. They functioned as a compass, guiding me through life’s turbulent seas and providing clarity during confusion. The voice echoed through the trees, serving as a continual reminder of the beliefs that guided my path. Nature’s warm embrace brought me comfort. Under the tall trees and flowing creek, I found consolation in the echoes of the past, the timeless wisdom that guided my feet. Standing at the water’s side, I was reminded of the words’ powerful impact and the lasting legacy of the instruction. So I stood by the water, my shelter and safety. And while the streams decreased and flowed, the memories remained firm and unbreakable. For in nature’s embrace, among the whispers of the wind, I found refuge, calm, and myself, grounded by echoes of the past.

“A child has an ingrained fancy for coal, not for the gross materialistic reason that it builds up fires by which we cook and are warmed, but for the infinitely nobler and more abstract reason that it blacks his fingers.”
― G.K. Chesterton

My boots stayed solid despite the unfavorable weather and genuine holes. It was a tribute to the distances I’d traveled, the difficulties I’d encountered, and the strength that held me together. Each step was distinguished by endurance, and each obstacle was overcome with unshakable determination. As I traveled, I found comfort in prayer, seeking guidance from the skies above. Despite the difficulties, I clung to hope, sincerely hoping that my prayers would be answered. I longed for those seven heavens, for the blessings that were ahead. But I discovered that hope only gets you so far. The human spirit’s perseverance and persistent faith in the face of hardship pulled me onward. I weathered the storms, relying on myself for support and finding strength in my heart. I got stronger as a result of the trials and setbacks that I faced. I learned to negotiate life’s uncertainties and embrace the trip with an open heart and unwavering determination. My boots may have been worn and my spirit challenged, but I came out stronger than before, for it is in the ashes of hardship that genuine character develops, where resilience blooms and hope persists. I stood tall, and unapologetic in my faith and commitment. As I reflected on my challenges and achievements, I was reminded of the power of prayer and the strength that I possess. Prayer gave me strength, consolation, and hope. And, despite the long and difficult path, I marched on I was guided by faith. So, as I moved on, I remembered the lessons learned, the bonds formed, and the prayers murmured in the depths of my heart. For it is through endurance that I found strength, and through faith that I discovered hope, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

“The love of God is so hot than a burning coal. It burns the heart and warms the chest; while at the same time calming the mind like still water.”
― Mwanandeke Kindembo

I have seen Heaven without dying, and I saw the devil without trying, and both seemed to want to speak with me. It’s been a weird voyage, one defying logic and reason, but here I was, struggling with the secrets of existence. In such times of revelation, I found myself at the intersection of the divine and the infernal, navigating the complexity of the human experience. Heaven called with its heavenly beauty, offering consolation and redemption, while the devil lurked in the shadows, attracting me with power and pleasure. But I was out of luck, and my aspirations were no longer worth anything. It was difficult to stay on my feet when the ground under me felt unstable, under the weight of the world that threatened to draw me down. Despite all the chaos and uncertainty, there was a ray of optimism, a flare of tenacity that refuses to fade. Even in my darkest moments, I found strength in myself on that turbulent trip known as life. I faced alone the challenges that lay ahead, building on the lessons learned from my meetings with Heaven and the Devil. I was aware that the road ahead would be difficult, but I would not give up hope. Instead, I choose to accept uncertainty, face my anxieties full-on, and stay firm in the face of misfortune. It was in those moments of struggle that my true character emerged, where I discovered the fortitude to overcome my limitations and fly to new heights. So, while I traversed the complicated web of life, I remembered that I was not alone. I could weather the storms, defeat the demons that seek to engulf me and emerge stronger, wiser, and happier than ever. Even when the path ahead appeared hard, I knew that with each progress forward, I was getting closer to my goal, guided by the light of hope and fueled by the fire of my determination.

“Evil is a coal: if it does not burn, it blackens.

(Le mal est un charbon: s’il ne brûle pas, il noircit)”
― Charles de Leusse

This game of life weighed heavily on my emotions. They believe that while love is difficult, loneliness is far more difficult. I carried that weight everywhere I went. The burden of loneliness, the anguish of desire, seemed to weigh on me at every step. They claim that pressure creates diamonds. How in the hell was I still coal? It was a question that rang in the back of my head, a puzzle I couldn’t solve. Despite the difficulties, the weight of expectation, and the pain of failure, I remained unchanged, raw. However, as I sailed the turbulent rivers of existence, I realized that perhaps the trip itself was the metamorphosis. It was amid misfortune that I found the human spirit’s stubbornness, the ability to develop and evolve. Love and loneliness walked hand in hand, like two sides of the same coin. Each had its lessons, difficulties, and rewards. Even though the route was hard and the way unknown, I drove forth with purpose and dedication. It was in the flames of hardship that I found the strength to survive, the bravery to continue, and the knowledge to face life’s complexity with an open heart and mind. Even though the burden was great, I emerged not as a diamond, but as a coal in the rough, gleaming with the brilliance of newfound wisdom and self-awareness. So, as I reflect on my trip to this point, I took with me the lessons gained, wounds earned, and successes achieved. Life’s difficulties taught me about my genuine identity, potential, and value. And, despite the challenges that lay ahead, I walked with my head held high, knowing that each step brought me closer to understanding my genius, truth, and destiny.

“Go to God with your coal, and He will set them to blazing fire.”
― Anthony Liccion

I was still a coal, but it burned from within. Instead of feeling the urge to become a diamond, I found myself captivated by the thought of becoming a flame. Life’s difficulties weighed heavily on my spirit, and the burden of loneliness was unbearable at times. But, inside that darkness, within that battle, I discovered a spark—a flicker of light that lit the shadows and led me to a new type of metamorphosis. As I accepted the idea of becoming a flame, I recognized that my path was not about meeting external expectations or dealing with the constraints of society. It was about embracing my inner fire, diving into the core of my existence, and allowing myself to burn with passion and purpose. Solitude and love continued to shape my experiences and character. But rather than letting them define me, I used their energy to ignite my inner flame—a light of hope, adaptability, and self-discovery. In the middle of life’s challenges, I learned to embrace the fire, dance with the flames of adversity, and emerge stronger, brighter, and more glowing than before. No longer burdened by the weight of expectation, I embraced the freedom of self-expression, allowing my inner flame to lead me down the road of honesty and satisfaction. Even though the journey was filled with uncertainty and hardship, I welcomed it with open arms, knowing that the flames of change held the promise of regeneration, development, and limitless opportunity. As I continued on my journey, I carried the warmth of my inner flame with me—a reminder of my perseverance, the passion that drove me, and the light that brightened my way. With each step I took, I embraced the force of metamorphosis, knowing that within the flames, I would discover my true self.

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