The court official in one life has seven rebirths as a beggar. (Chinese Proverb)
The legend of the phoenix can actually be found in several belief systems. It can be traced back to ancient Egypt when it was then known as “Bennu” or Bynw”, a symbol of the sun god Osiris. Osiris was resurrected to life from serving as ruler of the underworld.
Whether this mystical bird is attributed to the Chinese “Feng-huang”, the Jewish “Milcham” or even an emblem of Christ, the legend remains the same?After serving its life cycle, the phoenix builds a nest and then by the sun and the friction of its own wings, is consumed by fire. It is inevitably reborn from the very ashes. The phoenix is therefore symbolic of resurrection, immortality, and my personal favourite – triumph over adversity. I has been said repeatedly that there are two types of people in this world: “marathoners” and “sprinters”. Both are ambitious at heart. They set a goal and will pursue it zealously. The only difference is that a sprinter expects to see immediate results and if they do not receive those results, they may get discouraged and give up all together. A marathoner on the other hand, can get side tracked, knocked down, and trampled on, but will refocus and redirect when necessary in order to meet their ultimate goal.For example, a woman who had planned to lose thirty pounds in three months may be disappointed upon realizing that after the first month, she has only lost six. She had obviously expected to see faster results. But if that same woman takes into consideration that she is more toned or has more stamina, she may alter her official goal. She may decide “I want to go down a few dress sizes”, or “I want to be able to incorporate fitness and nutrition into my lifestyle permanently.” Along the way, she may miss a few morning jogs or go off her so-called diet, but above all, she is patient with herself.
Patience is essential. It’s important to accept that results are not always immediate. Sometimes, they aren’t even tangible. But by just going through the necessary steps, you are on your way, whether you realize it or not. Afterall, the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Accepting that the process is slow will likely prevent you from giving up. By altering your original goal, you haven’t fallen short. You’ve simply become aware enough to realize when and where to strategize.
It is very important not to perceive set-backs as failures. Coming down hard on yourself can even crush your spirit. Within your spirit lies your innermost dreams, desires, and your attitude toward life. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Some people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five”.
Some of us passively sit back and watch the rest of life go on because we feel we have had too many set-backs or let-downs to furthur pursue our dreams. Then there are those of us who have felt defeated at one point, but after getting side-tracked, knocked down, and trampled upon, rise up more determined to succeed than ever.
Denni Gill is an up-and-coming Canadian poet.
www.urban-eden.org chronicles her own spiritual growth.