The Beauty in Our Ashes

Nothing in this life truly dies. Not even the things we wish would.

We can try. We can try to forget. We can try to stifle. We can try to rise above.

And we do. We do forget. We do stifle. We do rise above. But the experiences live on. They settle into our flesh and shake out in our energy. Our bodies remember even when our minds forget.

The ties have been severed. But not completely. It’s not a clean break. There will always be frayed edges and mangled evidence of those parts of our history.

It didn’t need to be pretty. It wasn’t pretty. From start to finish it was a mess. That was our story.

Now that it’s over, I don’t even want to fix the ends.

So much of life looks that way.

We don’t get to change reality to look the way we want it to. Beauty doesn’t rise from ashes because we changed the fire. Beauty rises from ashes because we let it burn.

Some flames are too bright, too big, too hot to smother. We can’t rein them in. We can barely look at them.

Those flames have no choice but to burn out. It’s so ferociously devastating to watch that it becomes beautiful. That’s where the glory is. In the ashes of the aftermath. When the flames have died and the truth is told, nothing but the ruins of reality remain.

That’s when we begin again.

We don’t change it. We simply step back from it.

Strength doesn’t require us to forget. Strength begs us to remember.

If we live this life, truly live it, we will not escape it unharmed. And we wouldn’t want to.

It’s in those messy, mangled, tattered edges of shredded stories and collapsed efforts that we find our guts. The depth of our capability is found at the peek of our weakest moments. The width of our courage is discovered at the edge of our ability.

The moments we tried and failed. The things we loved and lost. The experiences we had and watched slip through our fingers.  The things we look at and cringe.

Those are the gifts of a human life.

The space to fall. The hope to dream. The courage to begin again.

Beauty is found within those fiery ashes.

Pieces of us may be tethered and worn. Some of our dreams may have melted in the flames of our experience, settled into the ashes of our effort.

Yet, surrounded by our endings, we begin again.

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