I’ve had an interest in the lore of the Phoenix for as long as I can remember. Something about a mythical bird that can resurrect itself after death and be born anew intrigues me. A lot of the fascination is focused on its ability to resurrect itself. However, it’s inevitable decline, and ash grave is hardly observed. What occurs during this phase of the Phoenix’s life can be compared to a love slowly fading between two once brightly shining lovers. I’m a Scorpio, so this is emo as fuck…
Not all relationships blossom into lifelong companionship. So what happens when the growth stops? When the love seems stagnant, and the distance is felt emotionally and physically. This is the decline of the Phoenix. This occurs for many reasons. Lovers grow apart, unresolved issues linger and cause a strain, loss of interest, etc.
When I experienced this in a prior relationship, I was confused and frustrated. When you love someone so deeply, but you’re just incapable of pinpointing why you feel that you can’t go on any longer. Soon the fights became frequent, and our emotional distance grew wider. A hopeless feeling that causes stress like a lingering grey cloud followed us. In my case, I was never great at communicating on an emotional level. Naturally, emotions and feelings were things that I would shy away from. Making sense of this decline/greyish period was beyond my level of consciousness; therefore, we never survived. We couldn't survive. I believe that was the reason on my end.
I often questioned if it was my ego keeping us together. Not wanting to have failed at love especially one that I worked hard at. That brought feelings of guilt. Was I was inhibiting her happiness; keeping her away from finding the love that she needed? I juggled these thoughts for a while and was incapable of expressing them. I didn't want to. I didn't fully understand my feelings so why share them and potentially hurt the one I love with half-baked thoughts and clumsy emotions.
This was my first long-term relationship, and the end was painful. “If two people are in love why aren't they together?” I asked myself for months. I thought love was enough, but it wasn’t. I was left to pick up the pieces and figure out how to get out from the ashes of our shared bittersweet memories. I was forced to take a look at myself and evaluate who I was and what I didn't like. I needed to learn something from this experience and come out of it stronger and better equipped to love in the future. I knew that expressing my emotions and communication were weak areas that I had no clue on how to improve.
I decided to talk to a therapist and work through what I was feeling and learn how to improve. Through therapy and self-reflection I believe I was able to develop myself as a lover and friend in ways I never knew I could. I am way more aware of my emotions, and I am less afraid of confrontation from communicating what I feel (whether warranted or not). Though my love for my ex is still there, an acceptance of our fate was something I just dealt with. I don't have any regrets from our relationship and how it ended. It made me stronger as an individual. Unfortunately, that strength came at the cost of our union. I believe this is my journey of self-actualization, discovery, and improvement. This is my phoenix beginning to emerge from the ashes...anew
Told you it’ll get emo...
“There was a silly damn bird called a Phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the Phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years, and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the goddamn funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (pg. 163)