I love the story of the Phoenix which rises from the ashes. In this story the beautiful, brilliant bird lives for about 100 years. In the part of its life it nests…in sticks and twigs…which slowly burn; until finally the entire nest is in flames around the bird. And just when you are certain that you know all that there is to tell…a baby Phoenix rises from the flames. This story is very personal to me…because I believe that through true adversity and against unthinkable odds…great things can happen.

  In my interpretation of this story…the fire is symbolic of life and its many obstacles. And like in the story of the Phoenix…just when you feel like the fire has become hotter than you can handle…it is then when we emerge our strongest.

  We have all faced situations that have tried our faith in ourselves or God. Life has a way of making us second guess decisions that we have made. We have faced the death of loved ones…where we may feel that the people who have meant more than anything else in our lives…were stripped from us. We may blame God, or whatever circumstances that led to the unexpected departure. I blamed myself when my sister passed away. I was stuck in regret…and I had a hard time forgiving myself. I couldn’t forgive the fact that I was only human. It took a while, and is still a work in progress, for me to realize that it simply was her time to go home. I most definitely felt that my wings were caught in a blazing fire that day. What I discovered that day though, was not that she left me. The hardest part was the realization that I had to be strong enough to continue on…and I was angry that I had to do it. My flames were my grief…and I burned for what seemed like a very long time. I only began rising from the ashes when I learned that I could forever keep our relationship alive on paper.

  There are people everyday who are plagued with terrible heart wrenching illnesses. There are some who are in emotional or physical pain every second that they are awake and sometimes even when they sleep. There are people can not walk, see, hear, or breathe without assistance. And this can be the flame to their Phoenix; burning brightly. However there those of us who believe that there are some fires that, like the mythical Phoenix, we are supposed to feel. I don’t necessarily think that we are martyrs or anything more special than anyone else…but perhaps the pain of our personal fires can ease the emotional pain of another.

  There are some struggles that make us stronger. Some people have struggled and the world never knew. We often do not see the gift, until their time has passed or the experience has become more enjoyable.

  So,in my rising from the ashes…I wanted to take a moment to point out some poignant beautiful survivors of the fire:

1. Never allowing his learning disability to hold him back…he was fired as a newspapers editor for lacking imagination and good ideas. WALT DISNEY…didn’t even let bankruptcy keep him down.

2. Getting a late start in life this young man did not learn to speak until he was 4 and didn’t read until he was 7. He was considered developmentally handicapped by his teachers and his own parents…luckily the Phoenix…that he is didn’t deter…ALBERT EINSTEIN.

3. One of the best known philosophers of the Classical era…SOCRATES was called an “immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death.

4. This great artist only sold 1 painting…to a good friend…but followed his passion…and created 800 more. His friend paid a fraction of what the art VINCENT VAN GOGH’s paintings g for now.

5. This renowned poet wrote over 1800 poems…although only 12 of EMILY DICKINSON’s poems were published in her lifetime.

6. His first book was rejected 30 times. In disgust he through t in the trash…thankfully “Carrie” and STEPHEN KING rose from the ashes as well.

7. Divorced, penniless, and driven…this single mom went from being a welfare recipient to one of the world’s richest women in a 5 year period…so the story of “Harry Potter” and J.K. ROWLINGS was born.

  We all have our fires to burn and rise from. Babe Ruth,  who was made famous by hitting 714 home runs during his baseball career…also struck out 1330 times. When he was asked about his record he earnestly stated, “Every strike brings me closer to my next home run”.

  In closing…please keep hope alive…it lives within us all. We need only understand that even when things seem their lowest…the best is yet to come.

~~ From my heart to yours