In today’s reflection, I would like to speak to you about the Phoenix Effect. It is a term I have coined from a combination of the study of biblical and mythological perspectives. For those who are familiar with both references, you will know that there is a consistent thematic context present when the death or end of something becomes the revival and renewing of something else.
I have found myself many times through the transition of this year. Ending many things in my life and at times it felt like I was dropping dead weight off of me. No, it did not hurt any less, but it was necessary for the principles of renewal that needed to happen.
Have you ever gotten to a point in your life that you had to let things go, die or admit that you were wrong in what you did or were doing?
If you are honest with yourself, you will say YES.
So now what? Where is the renewal that we need in our lives? If we look back at the scriptural reference of the prodigal or lost son in the bible, we can see where this happens.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Powerful stuff right there. In context, the son had spent all he had and dismantled his life, and the father took him in with open arms.
In the myth of the Phoneix, we can see a similar perspective in which one cycle of life ends and the new form comes back even more refined than the previous one with even more knowledge and power. However, he had to completely let go of the pains, challenges or even judgments that were attached in the previous phase.
I think that is where many people, including myself, have found themselves time and time again — areas of starting, ending and renewal.
Here’s the short version of this all: It is not too late to renew your life. You have to let go of that which does not serve you.
Maybe it is the chocolate or ice cream that gives you comfort after a long days work that is holding you back from your health goals?
Maybe it is a pain you carried over from an abusive relationship that was never meant for you in the first place?
Maybe you tried to start a venture, and it fell flat on its face right out the gate or after you spent all you had?
We all have been at points of renewal, and we will eventually reach those points again somewhere along the way. The question comes to are you willing to let go of the good or “OK” to become more significant than you ever thought.
You can see in the story of the prodigal son a complete sense of repentance. In the myth of the Phoenix, there was nothing left but ashes. Complete obliteration of what was in the past.
It is ok to start over, and it is more than ok to say that you don’t know. The worst thing you can do in your life is fake it until you make it because that is when you often try to cash a check that has no funds.
May you be inspired by these thoughts and have a great week.
Much love always,