In any book, the main characters go on a journey. It would be a dreary book indeed if the characters learnt nothing! Although fate plays a part, the characters have free will and they must choose the path of their journey.
Love is a gift, but the recipient must actively choose to accept that gift. Love is a verb – it requires action. William James said, ‘When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.’ By ignoring their feelings, two people in love are choosing not to love.
In Burning Embers, both Rafe and Coral are on a journey to allow themselves to love. The love exists – it is there, between them, from the first glance. But fear and doubt hold them back.
For Coral, the choice is about trust. She has been badly hurt by her philandering fiancé, and she sees that Rafe is involved with other women. She is naïve, inexperienced – a child in many ways when it comes to matters of the heart. She knows that she is drawn to Rafe, and yet struggles with this part of herself. For a long time, she listens to rumours, wonders about the worst of this man. Ultimately, Coral must choose: have faith, trust; or protect her heart at all costs?
Rafe is similarly conflicted. The choice that he must make comes down to letting go – of the past, of the mask he wears, of the man he decided he was but is not. He can argue with himself that Coral is no good for him and that he’s no good for her, but he can’t outrun his feelings. Ultimately, Rafe must choose: be loved, be loveable; or continue to feel that he’s not worthy of love and happiness.
With choice comes responsibility. And the power of a choice to change your life can be paralysing. As Pythagoras said, ‘Choices are the hinges of destiny.’ But until Rafe and Coral find the courage and conviction to really own their choice about love, there can be no peace within or between them. And yet, to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, once they make a decision, the universe will conspire to make it happen. The lovers can, quite literally, choose their happy-ever-after.