I am a huge fan of simplicity, avoiding panic and not fanning flames.
When I think of the firestorm that most of us walk through every day (otherwise known as life) I can't help but think we've already been trained how to deal with it all by a burly fireman in kindergarten.
Fire can be scary. It's hot and full of rage. It's fed by oxygen so you literally need to smother it, which means you need to take action to snuff out life-force energy and that, my friend, takes a boatload of courage...tame the cowardly Lion within. Interestingly, or maybe not so, all of this holds true for real fire, as well as human fire.
And since you know what to do when faced with real fire, let's apply the same safety-first brilliance to human fire, because, honey, it is all one and the same.
When faced with human fire before your first cup of coffee in the morning: go back to bed.
Kidding. Bed is not an option. Ever. Like real fire, human fire will rage and spread given the space to do so. If you go back to bed it will just be waiting for you when you wake up. It is best to wake up to the power of fire and deal with it immediately.
Step one: STOP.
When you see sparks begin to fly, whether they're on you, by you, near you or generally just flying around you: STOP. Ask yourself: is this my spark? Did I start this fire? Am I the one playing with matches? Maybe you are in which case, let me be clear: cutthatshitout. On the other hand, maybe you're not. Maybe you are just standing too close to some pyro, in which case, take a step back. Then another. And another.
Ask yourself: is this person good to be around? If the answer is, generally, yes, then it's your responsibility to let this person know that they are starting a fire. Some people don't always know what they are doing. Think of a child with magnifying glass and dried leaves in the middle of a forest, just playing around. The Smokey Bear in you is going to teach that child why that's so dangerous, right? The same love holds true here. You need to let this fire-starter know what they are doing. My suggestion: call it like you see it. You might start with, "Hey honey, it feels to me like you're starting a fire here " or, "Can we both take a breath and consider what you just said? It seems like you're ready to explode and I'm sure we can work this out with any fireworks."
If your answer is no, this is not a good person to be around, then, as I like to say: duly noted. This person is going to burn you in some way that may or may not be fairly obvious. Whatever the case, proceed to step two, STAT.
Step two: DROP.
I'm not talking about dropping your body to the floor. I'm talking about dropping your engagement with this other body. Drop it right there on the spot. Do. Not. Engage. This is different than going back to bed because this is about being intentional. This is about recognizing the type of person you're dealing with and actively deciding to not deal with them anymore.
If you're like me, you are going to want to engage. You are completely, totally, going in to defend your honor. That is both noble and stupid. It's noble because you recognize your alignment with your truth. It's stupid because human fire is on a mission to take your truth down. There will be a place for you to shine. This is not that place. This is the fire edge. The smoking hot boundary between justice and jackassery. When you cross the edge you feed the fire. When you drop the engagement you cut the power supply. Once you cut off the supply you can proceed to step three.
Step three: ROLL.
Rolling AWAY from the fire smothers the flames quickly. The fire may chase you for a little bit, that's to be expected. You are, after all, the oxygen needed to keep the flames flaming. Human fire knows this, seeks this and thrives on your willingness to do your part to feed its power. That's all human fire is: a cry for power. Power over you and the incompatible truth that you matter.
The truth that you matter is very tinder human fire longs to burn. You can always control the flames. You can always stop, drop and roll your gorgeous soul to a better place filled with nicer people who know: your truth matters. Fuck those yahoos trying to take you to the ground.
Next promise: How to love a yahoo. Kidding, maybe.