Monday, March 30, 2020

The Fire element 2: The Fire element's daily interactions with people

We may not ourselves be aware of how far each minute of our life lived amongst other people will be occupied with relationships of one kind or another.  I will use an example of this taken from the brief duration of a typical day’s journey into work to illustrate this.  We may be surprised to find how many tiny threads of relationship we knit together on this journey, from the moment we open our front door and turn to wave goodbye to our family, to an encounter with a neighbour, the interaction with a newsvendor and a ticket collector, the avoidance or acknowledgement of eye-contact with all those packed tight with us in the underground or bus, and finally the arrival at work with the greeting of our colleagues.  All these involve numerous small or large skeins of new and old relationships being sorted into their different threads.  This covers just a few short hours in a 24-hour period at most, and an infinitesimally small part of all the hours in one year in our life, let alone all the hours of all the years in our life.

In each of these encounters with another person, our Fire element’s need to establish a relationship wherever it finds itself with other people will be taxed to the full.  Just detailing all this activity is quite tiring, but not nearly as tiring as Fire may feel if, during these few hours between home and office, something occurs which puts excessive strain on this element, such as an argument before leaving home, an unpleasant encounter on the bus or the dread of a meeting with a feared colleague.  Here, the Fire element can experience such unpleasantness as blows to its heart, which cut sharply across its desire to spread warmth and joy around it.  Hence the potential for the physical heart to suffer if these blows become too frequent or too prolonged.

It is to this element that we owe our ability successfully to negotiate the myriad interactions with other people which pepper our every minute, and its health will determine how accurately we align ourselves with the reality of the encounters we make, and how realistically we assess their value, their negative impact or their relevance to us.  The constant level of hard work needed to help the Fire element in each one of us in its task of adjusting to all the demands others make upon us places a particular strain upon Fire people, for of all the elements this is the one which most ardently (oh, such a Fire word!) desires to make these relationships work.  That is, after all, what it regards as the main purpose of its existence.

This, then, is one of the ways in which we can learn to recognise people as being Fire people, and also one of the ways which helps us understand their needs better.  If we are of another element, and are surprised at what appears to us to be an over-emphasis on problems in many of Fire’s relationships, we may find this irritating because it is incomprehensible to our way of thinking,  It will therefore bring greater harmony to our own relationships with this friend or partner if we begin to understand the dominant role relationships play in their life.  Even if this appears to us to be an over-dominant, exaggerated role, we can do much to smooth the path of our own interactions with this person if, instead of being critical, we start to understand that they cannot stand back in their relationships in the more detached way that we, of another element, maybe can.  We have to learn that it is as impossible for Fire to do this as it might be for us to do the reverse, entangle ourselves in the complexities of relationships as they are doing.

What then are the ways in which we can help Fire in its relationships?  To a Fire person the answer appears so simple;  it is by allowing them to make us happy.  It wants to give and you have to be prepared to receive its gifts, even when they burden you.  To you these gifts may appear annoying, irrelevant or even overwhelming.  You may feel that you are being given what you do not need or, even worse, what you actively don’t want, but it will help you in your dealings with Fire if you understand that it is the act of giving which feeds it.  Fire may not consider how appropriate its gifts are, in fact will only do so in states of great balance, for it may be so intent on the gesture of giving that it does not have time to gauge how its recipient is reacting.  We can all fear gifts as much as welcome them, for they can make us beholden in ways we find disturbing.  All this is something which Fire does not naturally understand, but has to be taught to understand.  The burden of an unwelcome gift, and even sometimes of a welcome gift, can arise from the need to express gratitude the recipient may feel is being demanded of it, even though, to Fire, gratitude is not what it is seeking.  Instead it seeks the smile on the face, the warmth of eye in another person, and, if this is not forthcoming, it will experience this as a slap in the face, a rejection, something which can scar its heart.




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