In order for a Phoenix to rise from the ashes, it must first burn and die.
The same goes for you and I. After a traumatic experience such as being domestically abused, or going through a horrible breakup, the pain is intense. But these feelings of regret, disappointment, anger, loneliness, grief, and sadness are actually calling our attention to peel off a layer of our ego so we can get closer to being our highest and best selves. How do we do that? By feeling, accepting, and ultimately growing.
Our society has conditioned us to hide our pain. Conceal, don't feel, don't let them knowww...Disney's Frozen anyone? We attempt to subdue pain with temporary harmful behaviors that create a snowball effect which leads to addictions, disorders, self-injury, and breakdown. Allow yourself to feel the pain. Own it. Be aware of it. Don't rush this stage. Journaling is a very effective tool for releasing emotions and thoughts in a healthy way. Once you actually feel it, you can begin to accept it.
This doesn't mean you should turn pain into a little luggage and haul it around. It just means being at peace with the way things are at the present moment. It's being comfortable in the uncomfortable. Easier said than done I know, but mindfulness is the key here. I find that meditation and exercise are great for being in the now while also lifting your mood. Acceptance is the fertile ground upon which understanding is born.
Once you understand the pain, you start to see it with a different set of eyes. It is clear that pain actually taught you a lesson (or lessons) and you realize you will never be the same person again. You are wiser, stronger, full of compassion, forgiveness, and love. You have successfully removed a layer of your ego. That old part of you has died. This new part of you is now a reflection of your higher self...reborn, renewed, and risen from the ashes, just like the Phoenix.
Photo credit: © Chanel Baran via C. Ara Campbell