We all go through times in our lives when we feel like our world is falling apart. Shattering. Burning down to the ground. When everything we once knew completely shifts and before we know it, everything changes, just like that.
The hardest part about monumental change is witnessing when the flames begin to blaze a fire through your life. There is a burning – pain, discomfort or maybe even a desire that makes the change inevitable no matter how long you try to delay it.
You can see the match being lit and you know as soon as it drops, changes will be unstoppable. You watch the flames begin to torch a piece of your life away or perhaps, rather, a piece of you. The fire builds and it starts spreading rapidly as the issues that insinuated the change begin to become unmanageable.
It’s hot. It’s heavy. The feeling of being helpless runs down your cheeks as you notice you are looking at a building that is too far on fire to save. The dancing fire picks up speed and you see an area of your life diminishing to the ground. You can’t seem to make enough moves to put it out. There is nothing you can do but hold on to the memories as you gear up to make sense of the ashes.
And in that frightening moment as everything you knew burns away, you try so hard to salvage the wreckage. Maybe you try sifting through the ashes, to find parts of that life that you can take with you as the realization occurs that it’s gone. It’s over. That part of your story has ended.
As sad as it may seem and horrific as it may have been, the torching also created a clearing. Maybe of what wasn’t working. What wasn’t serving you. What could not be part of the future.
You realize there was something in the fire, a faint vision you could see as you watched things melt away, that gave you some glimpse of hope. This hope might be the only fumes you are running on in those brief moments as you try to figure out what’s next; how to start over.
And then it happens. After a while, you find blessing and peace in that burnt down building on the path of your life. You see the lessons it left with you. You recognize that the ending you just endured is now the new beginning you get to create. And in that moment you decide that you have the ability to create something fresh. Something magnificently new.
You are not a spectator to the fire anymore. You are the creator with a fire. This is an opportunity to turn ashes into beauty. As with nature, when a fire scorches the earth and all the living within its reach; after the smoke settles and the damage is assessed, up springs new life. It’s there that a new path emerges with a blank canvas and you have free reign to choose what you will decorate it with.
You can stand there looking back at the ruins of the fire or you can choose to be bold, turn your head forward and navigate the new lands ahead.
Remember, a fire is started by a tiny flash of light in the form of a flame. Sometimes the light of the flame is what you need to see your way out of a dark situation and the damage of the fire is necessary because it leaves you with only one choice: To begin again.
Photo credit: Art From Ashes