Phoenix: Rising from the Ashes


Red-tailed Hawk Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson

Red-tailed Hawk Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson

Do you remember being angry at any point on this journey? Experts, the ones who study behavior, say that it is good for us to get angry. They say anger is the first big step towards recovery – recovery from any negative or unpleasant experience whether it stems from a job loss or from an illness.

Prior to becoming angry, we experience a state where we think we may be able to cope with the negative experience – when we believe we can have personal control over the situation. Emerging evidence, as stated in the Handbook of Environmental Psychology, suggests that psycho-physiological indicators are elevated when individuals expend effort to cope with stressors.  Elevated psycho-physiological indicators are:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased levels of catecholamines – part of the bodies ‘fight or flight’ response
  • Increased skin conductance – a reaction to certain stimuli as indicated by a change in the electrical resistance of the skin. The effect is related to subconscious activity of the sweat glands and may result from pleasant as well as unpleasant stimuli

In other words, we use a tremendous amount of energy to cope. We waste energy when we cope. We give that energy away…for free. Why do we do that? Instead, we could be using that energy to keep ourselves healthy and happy.

Anger is an emotion that leads to action. That’s why the experts like to see that we can get angry. It is a more notable emotional response that leads to your taking action to remove yourself from the tethers of coping. You become a Phoenix – the mythological bird said to have a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then sets itself afire; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.

What is important to note…being angry is an emotion. It serves you and you only. Do not force your anger onto another being. You create your life. No other being makes you who you are. You always have a choice; a choice to be or to react one way or another. By coping, you are enabling your choice to give your energy away for free. Change that thought. Get angry. Take action. Make changes. Become what you want to be.

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