My Life Mantra
A story of how Phoenix Rising Stories was born
It was December of last year. I felt like a sheet of glass with a million stress fractures running across my surface. A mere moment away from shattering in a violent explosion.
It had been four months since he told me he was suicidal. Hearing him confess what he had been thinking gutted me, shocked me, and put me into a state of high alert and panic. I knew that threat well enough myself. I had lost my own cousin to suicide just earlier that year too.
I knew him. I knew he would never admit that unless it were gravely true. I looked at him and what I saw was gut wrenching. Utter hopelessness and hollowness. Resignation. Depletion. Defeat.
And then I had to return to Port Alberni and he had to remain in Vancouver. For all those days of autumn and winter, I stood teetering on an edge, nerves frayed, muscles clenched, triggering episode after episode of him spiralling even further down, disappearing, and me waiting with bated breath to hear that he had ended his life or walked away. In either case, waiting to hear that I had lost him.
I tried something new. I said yes to a tarot card reading - something I knew absolutely nothing about and could feel my inner skeptic quickly rising. Just as quickly, I hushed her sneers. What has skepticism done for me? I believe she is a cover for my underlying fear of the unknown, holding me back, keeping me in the known, the comfort zone. But that’s not where expansion is. That’s not where discovery happens, is it?
The visceral sensations that coursed through my body during the reading can’t be translated into words. Afterwards, I picked up a notebook. I hadn’t written in it for over a year. I hadn’t actual journaled reflections in many years.
But urgency filled me now. It was like floodgates opening and I HAD to get something out. At that point, I wasn’t even sure what it was, I just knew I needed to put pen to paper and let it flow. It started with:
December 11, 2018
"Today was a blessing. Thank you for sending me the messages that my soul needed to hear. Thank you for loving me and supporting me and sending me guidance on how to conduct myself as I navigate these churning waters.
Any time that I feel myself being pulled into his chaos, remember that my role now is to stay out of it. To stay out of it, to resist my instinct to jump in and save him. To try to fix it for him will be an act of self-harm towards myself and I will come out of it the worse off of the two. Remain steadfast in my love."
For seven pages I scribbled furiously, distilling the words down further and further until I reached my final message to myself:
"SURRENDER. LEARN. TRANSCEND."
I fully believe that we feel trapped in a continuous loop because we failed to learn the lesson being sent to us. I fully believe that the universe will continue to send us the same lesson over and over again, with different faces and in different forms, until we learn that lesson, break ourselves free from that loop, and transcend to the next one where we will be met with yet another lesson. This is how we evolve.
Well, I’m back in misery. I’m showing that I failed to fully learn that lesson when I thought I had. I’m losing myself once again his chaos and darkness and so I failed to learn and transcend. So now is the time to remind myself of yet another part of that journal entry:
"It is my job to continue my soul work, to remain centred, and every time I feel like I'm being pulled into his chaotic vortex, check-in and ground into myself. Do not engage. Remain peaceful and steadfast. I will be tested in the most painful of ways that will play to my greatest weaknesses - I have to endure that in order to grow."
It’s time to rise.
It’s time to surrender all sense of control and wanting to change and fix.
It’s time to learn.
It’s time to transcend.