Out of the ashes. That’s where the phoenix rises from.
I’ve always loved the imagery and idea of the flaming phoenix rising from the ashes. Reborn to take on the world anew.
And yet I never really focused on the ashes part. Just the romantic return from ruin. Perhaps a natural inclination to shy away from dwelling on the struggle, the conflict, the pain associated with the ashes.
Yet I have often envisioned myself rising from the ashes within my own life. When I have made it through a difficult period. I think about the rising, never the burning. And not like I am always rising. Lots of burning has occurred.
So what about this whole burning up into ashes thing? Why am I not giving it its due? It’s an important part of the process. One doesn’t happen without the other.
Obviously there is some destruction occurring with this burn up. That sounds difficult and maybe painful, I suppose. So maybe I’m blocking. Just ignore all that bad stuff. Though it seems unlikely someone would get to the rising part with that behavior.
Or maybe there have been enough of these burning and flaming rebirth cycles that they have just become normal. Maybe even necessary. A need to reinvent myself meant a need to burn the old me down and start over.
So maybe I don’t focus on the burning part because I’m the one who keeps starting the fires. Seems reasonable. I might start to question my own motives otherwise.
I think maybe it’s as Lawrence of Arabia said in the movie after extinguishing a match between his fingers and an officer asking him what the trick is: The trick is not minding that it hurts.
Perhaps that simple yet not so simple thought tells it all. It’s part of the process. Or part of the attitude. If we view the re-invention negatively, it will be negative. If we see it as struggle, it will be hard. But the working for it is what makes it worthwhile. The working for the reward is what makes it so sweet. View the struggle as value unto itself.
I end with one of my favorite Shakespeare lines: Nothing is good or bad but our thinking makes it so. Well, make it so.