Sometimes You Have to Burn Your Past Self

Your mind has backstabbed and turned against you, offering no positive destinations in sight.

Your heart has pitifully turned inwards and held up its hands in defeat.

And your body has all but given out; wearily, you acquire a strong cold and are sequestered to the couch for days.

Life used to feel so full, but now? Your glass poureth over with an abundance of emptiness so powerful all other voices are drowned out.

Maybe you’re depressed. Maybe you need some more medication.

Or maybe-

maybe you’re on the brink of death and on the path to rebirth.

Maybe you’re catching fire, crumbling, and combusting,

so that you can metamorpihize.

Hold on pretty mama,

Don’t let go of that rope strong papa,

maybe the fact that all hell has broken loose in your mind doesn’t mean you need to hide and run and be committed.

Maybe your office won’t burn down while you wonder more and talk less.

Maybe your children’s brains won’t atrophy as you lay on the couch in your cocoon.

Maybe your cleaning lady’s services need summoning, because your head is not on your pans, it’s in some place deeper and more complex than you’ve ever been.

Maybe you’re changing, you scoundrel .

Maybe you don’t want what you always wanted and maybe you need a break.

A break from your self, your life, and your way of doing things.

Maybe you’re breaking down because you’re breaking open because there’s a new you inside that’s shrieking to come out.

Maybe this is a new chapter in your life, and if you don’t listen to the tune shifting, if you don’t notice that the page has turned and the narrator has altered expressions

-if you don’t see, for example, that before he was a happy-go-lucky peasant and now he’s a commanding, dreamy, inquisitive aristocrat-

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you’re just going to be a caricature of your past self, aren’t you; holding on to if for dear life,

trying to convince yourself that routine and familiarity will save you from the terrors of uncertainty.

No- don’t do that.

Let yourself burn.

Watch your self decompose.

Everything you worked for and everything you stood by.

Let it crumble.

Let yourself die a martyr’s death; understanding that a greater self will come in.

Understand that life will return to your weary bones, and ideas will blossom again.

Know with certainty that the breath of life, the desire for growth and connection and meaning will return at full force, stronger than you’ve ever known it,

if you can just accept that you are new

and life has changed. 

Your core, that spinal fluid that has breathed life into you since your earliest days, remains the same.

It’s only your hands that are different.

It’s only your vessel that has shattered open and needs to be rebuilt. Don’t you see it now? 

Walk slower. Look closer. Take a different path to work. Laugh more, to yourself, in the middle of the sidewalk. No one’s listening. Listen to how no one’s listening.

I know, it feels like nothing’s tethering you to this Earth and there’s no direction home.

Honestly, the only hope for home we have is that inward thrill of staying the course of our soul’s calling.

The only possibility we have for staying on that path is by dying from all of our previous past selves.

Sometimes we need to burn in order to  fly.