Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us. – Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao
365 Tao, a book of daily spiritual meditations grounded in the Tao spiritual discipline, is a regular contributor to The Thought for the Day. Regardless of what your spiritual path is, or even if you don’t have one at all, 365 Tao is highly recommended, deserving of the time and consideration of anyone, from a serious reader to a newcomer, an experienced adherent or a novitiate.
Sometimes we do not have control over what happens to us. This can be frustrating, however, there are billions of people on this planet all leading random lives and, of course, Mother Nature acts on her own whims. All of this sometimes adds up to events we may have had nothing to do with but which nonetheless leave an indelible and sometimes permanent imprint on our lives.
What we do have control over is how we respond to any given situation. When calamity strikes, we can let it define us, or we can take control and put the experience to whatever good use we can mine from it. We can drown in the depths or we can ascend to new heights.
This is also true when good fortune strikes. We can wallow in our success, forgetting the dreams and efforts that inspired us to strive in the first place, or we can use success – failure’s cousin – as the impetus for further gains.
Choosing how to respond to a given situation is no different than choosing how we spend our life. We can remain as we are, or we can rise and become the phoenix, living a life that shows others, but more importantly ourselves, that we were put here for a reason and that we are determined to find that reason.
This is not easy. It takes courage to become the phoenix, to rise above everyday wants and prejudices, to veer from the path others are taking and to have the patience to see where that path ultimately leads.
The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.