archives, wisdom

Hold Your Own Flame and Ignite the Passions of Others.


As survivors of trauma, we have a magnificent gift.

We learned early on to wield a power that few fully comprehend, so much so that it takes multiple professionals to crack the code along with us as we seek to unlock the mysteries in ourselves.

Trouble strikes, and the first thing we do is react. We recoil, we rescind, or we strike, and we try to forget. We push the shattered pieces under the carpet laid so expertly over the rough edges of the flooring in a house we had only begun to call home. Every forced entry leaves us with fallen beams we learn to break down for kindling for the fire we need to prepare what sustains us and bring about our own warmth.

We are hunters and gatherers in our own right. Stories call to us and authenticity births trust. Trust is not easily given, and nor is the exchange that takes place as we often feel as if we are simultaneously bartering part of our soul with everything we give. The entanglement brings an intensity to relationships that few are prepared to learn to breathe in in order to stay close to us.

We drop into a depth that can make it hard to see unless you are patient enough to let your eyes adjust. There, we are willing to draw you to the deepest caverns and show you the ways to light that most would assume to be impossible. Passion is celebrated, because it is as wild and free as the inner versions of ourselves that we had locked away for safekeeping.

The unknown frightens us mostly because to get there requires setting this person free. It is only the full self who knows the way.

What happens when you unlock the cage where your protected self is given permission to rise? What does this person want? What does this person say when given the floor? Whom do they attract? It is not likely to be the people from your past, but people who have fought through theirs.

Survivors tend to find one another. They are bravest alone, and yet they know the fuel obtained in rubbing shoulders and touching fingers with those who have seen war and lived to tell. They have woken up from their own sleep-inducing spell to the knowledge of their power. Sharing their passions means an alliance that independence questions, but hope tells them this is good.

Companionship has a power of its own; the part of you that was confined is given affection that is nurturing, and affirmation that is fortifying. When the hidden is held, the explosion can be heard for miles.

The work to set that powerful fully-present self free takes a lifetime. It takes learning to ride the waves, and continuous reminders that being knocked down doesn’t mean it’s over. Learning to see the signs of a wicked storm on the horizon and choosing not to turn and run may take everything you’ve got, but you have got this.

Leaning into the storm, leaning on someone who gives you permission to do so, reaching out to be held instead of holding it in, these are your new powers. While you learn to excavate within and subjugate without, you are writing your own spells to manifest a magic that changes the world. It changes the way you live it, see it, move in it, and releases the things you want from it.

The work teaches you to appreciate and utilize the strength of all that you are capable of in a way that infuses your creativity, your conversations, and your connections. Without the constant expectation that this house is on fire, you are able to hold your own flame and ignite the passions of others. Dive deep, burn bright, and enjoy what comes into view. This is what you were saved for.


Erica Bauman currently resides in Cincinnati, OH and has recently gone back to school for her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her favorite places to visit in the city are Washington Park, OTR, Findlay Market, Smale Park and the Roebling Bridge. She revels in the opportunity to catch a game or live performance, whether that be an FCC game or a Riverbend concert. She is a proud student, volunteer, and supporter of the city’s own Improv Cincinnati. She believes deeply in the beauty and stories found in the people and places she comes to know, that music makes everything better, and that laughter is truly the best medicine. She hopes to impact everyone that crosses her path in that they feel they are somehow better for having done so. She has been published with,, and Holl and Lane Magazine. You could contact Erica via Instagram.


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