Up From the Ashes
“Whether we remain the ash or become the phoenix is up to us.” ~ Ming-Dao Deng
I lay in bed that morning, languishing somewhere between waking and dreaming. This particular morning felt much different than all the others as I tried to navigate through the fog that was my mind. Even though I was just waking up for the day, I felt exhausted. It was the kind of tiredness that permeated every particle and fiber of my being. I somehow felt as if my spirit, my everlasting soul, the essence of who I know myself to be, was in the process of leaving my body, for the last time. My first thought was of my children. In that brief moment of quiet reflection, I decided that together they would be alright in the world without me. In desperation, I summoned my spiritual guides and angels, requesting their much needed help. I felt as though I no longer had the will, or the strength to carry on. Before I drifted back off to sleep, my last conscious thought was declaring to myself, “I surrender.”
After more than fifty years in this body, enduring childhood abuse, domestic violence, neglect, poverty, and ultimately trying to work through all of it in therapy, I had never surrendered before, I had never entirely given up – on me. A survivor, a fighter, it had always gone against my nature to admit that perhaps I could not count on myself any longer. It felt as if all of the suffering and pain had finally taken its toll. In what seemed like my darkest hour, I came to the realization that something would have to be different. I could no longer survive in the world like this.
Living most of my life in a deep state of denial, I thought about the words someone dear to me once said, “…once denial is broken, you can never go back.” I looked upon this vivid, yet surreal experience and felt such gratitude and at the same time, a deep sense of sadness that this is how it would end. The death grip I’d had on life was slipping, I could no longer hold on. I found myself in a place I had heard about but had never personally experienced. A place where one arrives, perhaps not knowing how they came to be there. A place one can only access after letting go of absolutely everything else.
My expectation was that I would drift off to sleep and not wake up. That somehow I would continue to depart my body and my spirit would exit this earthly existence.
What happened next was quite a surprise to me. As soon as I chose to surrender and let go, I heard a voice inside me say, “It’s not your time.” No words can express the relief and freedom I felt in that moment. Not only did I recognize that I was not alone, I knew from that point forward, my life would never be the same again. It was such a life changing and deeply freeing experience to finally, finally know that even when I was at my lowest point, I am not alone – I am – always here, in this eternal Now!
Facilitator, Trinity Energy Progression