Once there lived a woman, whose heart was broken so badly that she couldn’t mend it. The man she loved cheated on her with her sister, and her mother ran away with another man who was much younger than her. The woman’s heart was shattered into tiny little pieces that she wanted to give up on life because she felt unloved by everyone around her.
She tried all sorts of remedies and went to different doctors, but no one could cure her. Each day that passed took away the woman’s will to survive. All she wanted to do was fade away and die.
Not knowing what to do with her life, the woman decided to go to a priest who lived at the edge of town, near a volcano that hadn’t erupted for the past three hundred years. She left her job, sold everything she had and voyaged to the priest.
“Love starts from within,” the priest had told her as he lit a small candle in a ceramic bowl.
The woman did not understand. The priest gave her the bowl with the candle and said, “in order for you to be cured, you must walk to the five great mountains of Halacin and make sure this flame does not die. And when you make it to the fifth mountain, you will find a cave which will show you your cure.”
“But that’s impossible,” the woman cried. “The gales, the winds, the oceans. Everything will blow out the flame. How am I supposed to keep it safe?”
“That is something you have to figure out on your own.” The priest said as he walked away.
The woman, not knowing what to do sat down and wept. She cried until she could not cry anymore. She was tired of all those heartbreaks, of all those disappointments, of all those failures, and it was at that moment where she decided that she would cross those mountains, search for that cave and find her cure.
She took the candle and began her journey. She faced many obstacles, but she did not let her guard down. The winds spoke against her will. The mountains rumbled beneath her feet. The forests blocked her path. The gales pushed her back and knocked her down. The sky poured onto her, but she did not give up. She did not let her flame perish.
When she reached the fifth mountain of Halacin, she found the cave and walked in. But as soon as she entered the mouth of the cave she saw nothing but the flames of the candle flickering on the walls of the cave. Desperately, she looked around for the cure the priest spoke of, but she was unable to find it. The woman sat down and looked at the flame. Enraged, she blew out the candle herself.
The woman walked back down the mountains and went straight to the priest. She had decided that she would kill him and then she would kill herself.
“Ah, I see you’ve made your voyage,” the priest said as soon as he saw her come into his little hut.
“You lied to me,” the woman sobbed. She threw the candle and the ceramic bowl on the ground and looked up at the priest. “You said the cave would hold my healing, but it was empty. You lied to me just like everyone else.”
“No, ” the priest said smiling. “I do not lie. What did you see when you went into the cave?”
“I saw dirt, flames and a reflection of myself.”
“Exactly,” the priest said. “The cure you are seeking for is in you. You saw the flames of the candle, which means you protected it with all your might. No skies, no mountains, no gales could stop you because of your determination. Your heart, my child is the same. No one can tear it out of your chest without your permission. And that is why you need to guard it, protect it with all your might. Yes, a person will come along in your life and that person may break into your heart, but how can something so strong shatter so easily. Love with all your might and all your will.”
“But I am unloved. What’s the point of having a heart if I can’t love or if someone can’t love me”?
“Oh, my foolish child. How can someone else fall in love with you if you do not fall in love with yourself? Love can heal the greatest of all wounds, so love yourself first. Your life was tough I know, but you are tougher. Love has the ability to join, then why are you falling apart. Nothing had the ability to blow out your candle, but at the end, you blew it out yourself. Why? The problem was never the world, but how you perceived it. Often, we become our greatest enemies and in that war with ourselves, we cause damage to no one else but ourselves. You survived what was impossible. You kept the flame of the candle alive, then why not the flame in your heart and soul?”