Rise from the Ashes
They say the Phoenix rises from the ashes, and honestly I feel like I was at my all time lowest a few years ago. I didn’t love myself, I wasn’t happy, I had lost my self esteem, and someone made me feel like I was not worth anything. Now, years later and after much work – all I can do is rise. Each day I reflect, not so much about where I was, but more so of where I am. I can’t help but compare because, well that’s only human nature. But it’s hard to look back at the ugly, on the mistakes, on the wrong choices. Especially the choices that were so clearly flashing the red warning light in front of my face, and I ignored all the signs. It’s only now, that my eyes are open that I can see what I couldn’t see before. Looking back is painful to remember the hurt, but also hard to not blame myself. I’d like to believe that while looking back is important to know where I’m headed, it’s necessary to look back with a kindness. Kicking myself for my past isn’t going to get me anywhere. I can’t change it. But I can look back with a different point of view and become more self aware on the things I should have done differently.
I’ve always been a person who believes people can change, and nine times out of ten they can’t, or rather I say won’t. Change only comes from determination and hard work. It’s not for the faint of hearts. Most the time people don’t want to dig down deep, ruffle up old feelings, pains and thoughts and retrain themselves to respond and react differently. Most of our actions are reactionary to things we’ve learned, what we’ve been taught, what we believe or are a result of our past. To really change we have to dig down deep to the root and question everything we think we know. Why do I value something? Why do I believe something? What do I do what I do? Over our lifetime we experience so much, and from those experiences we learn, grow, and are shaped into the person we become.
No two people are the same because no two people experience the same things in life. Our family, friends, environment, upbringing, and so much shapes us. So how do you change things about yourself that are rooted so deep and you’ve believed or done for so many years? Well it’s not easy, it takes work, effort and you fail some times and have to keep at it. You have to continue to rise from the ashes. So how did I change?
Well when you finally open your eyes and see something you don’t like, well you have two choices: close your eyes again and keep going, or change it. Sure, “change it” she says, like it’s that simple, like you change your shirt or cut your hair, kind of simple. No, change is like learning a new skill, like for a toddler learning to walk, it comes in levels. First you see it and decide you want to do it. So you start paying attention to it and become aware. You watch other people around you do it, and see how they do it. Then you try to stand up to start. You fall down. You get back up again. Maybe you even second guess yourself of if you’ll ever be able to do it. Maybe someone helps you stand up and get your bearings. Then, when you’re feeling confident you decide to go for it. Maybe you get it on your first try, or maybe your like the baby cow stumbling around. Maybe you take a rest for one day because you feel like it’s too hard. Then on a new day, when you’re determined enough, you try again. Eventually you rise.
They say anything worth having doesn’t come easy. Well change is the same way. You have to put in the work. For me it was about becoming aware of my behavior. Then understanding why I do it. Then it was about retraining my brain, which isn’t easy after developing patterns and behavior for many years. Self awareness is a powerful tool. Unless you know yourself and your behavior, you can’t begin to change it.
Voice of a Phoenix