I will be there in the water and the flame as I have always, ever been.”
—The Wise Inner Counselor
Endings, transitions, loss, grief—they all throw us into the turbulent waters of emotion where we must learn to stay afloat, despite the currents that threaten to swamp us.
It is here that we confront our fears of being alone, abandoned. Bereft of identity and unsure of our future.
And yet, if we learn not to struggle, the water will hold us up. Learning to rest in emotion, to pay attention to the rhythm of the waves. These are the skills that endings call us to adopt.
Almost like giving birth, we learn to breathe into contraction’s pain. We trust the body’s innate intelligence. And we listen for direction from the midwife: our Wise Inner Counselor. The presence who guides us through the process of delivering a new self into this world that is so different from what we knew before things changed.
Once we’ve got our sea legs, it’s time to invoke the alchemical fires of creativity. This is where we summon our innate will to live, to strive, to learn, to grow, and eventually to seize the opportunity that can arise from the destruction of life as we have known it.
Any creative act is an act of courage because manifesting “something”—especially from the “nothing” that endings leave behind—requires trust in the process as well as confidence in one’s ability to stay the course.
We don’t know what the end result will be. And we’re not supposed to. Our goal is the creation of a human “becoming”—a person who is forged in the phoenix fires of transformation. And who—once touched by this alchemical heat—will always retain a strong affinity for the flow of self-transcendence.
The point is to let the drive to express your own creativity carry you forward in the manner most appropriate for you. Sing a song. Write a poem. Tell a story. Dance to your heart’s content. Don’t worry about creating a superior work of artistry. The proof of resilience is in the process, not the pudding.
And the more you give yourself permission to simply create without judgment or comparison or analysis, the deeper the healing will go. The sorrowful or fearful thoughts and feelings that may have haunted your psyche can take a positive turn as they are given form in creative expression. No longer rambling around in your head or emotions, now they are “objects” you can observe and decide to keep or let fall away.
Here is a secret of the phoenix: Only that which is impermanent and no longer useful is consumed in transmutation’s fires. The phoenix dances in the flames and then takes off, renewed, refreshed, and powerfully resilience for what comes next.
But you don’t get the flame without first experiencing the water. This is a subject for deeper exploration. Are you interested in a workshop? Let me know on the Contact page.
Loving Your Way Through Loss
Let Wise Grief Call You to “Let Go & Let God”
A Miracle in Kildare
Rising from the Ashes of Endings
Engaging Life’s Transitions
Riding the Waves of Life’s Big Shifts
The Water and the Flame
The Challenge of Being a Catalyst
A Beautiful Grief: Reflections on Letting Go – The Book
Cheryl Eckl reads the opening chapter: “The Music of What’s Happening”
Behind the Books: Cheryl tells the story of A Beautiful Grief & A Beautiful Death
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