Burn It

“I cried when they walked in with lit torches to blaze from the inside out.  It was so beautiful, I didn’t want this one to burn even though I knew it was the only way to make space for the new.” ~ from the Temple at Burning Man.

Burning things, like temples and letters and fears, is an ancient ceremony of letting go.  Through fire we release into the void uncertainties we have been clutching too close to our hearts. And as we currently enter into the space between less sun and more, humans often feel a desire to sweep out the hibernation of winter and throw wide the doors to spring.

As we scrub out from behind the stairwells and from inside the closets, sometimes we come across pieces of ourselves that we buried way back deep just in case we might ever need to retrieve them-notes and photographs and concert stubs and numbers on napkins.  But how can we honestly make room for the new when we cling so dearly to what fills yet disservices our lifespaces and mindspaces and heartspaces?

You can find it and honor your process with acceptance.  Admit to yourself where you are and ask if you are ready to let go, knowing that there is profound understanding of ourselves that comes from simply staying in process.  People with wonderful intentions have multiple instructions for how to deal with our most uncertain and unstable times.  Their advice so often stems from their own experience and what got them through. But your process is yours alone so let it sing, shout, cry, laugh, back flip, etc.  Know that it knows just what to do.

You can burn it and honor your process with gratitude and release. Thank it for what it has shared, and release it to the transmutation of what can only transpire when broken pieces reassemble.

The beauty of liminality is that it seats us inside the place of our own change.  We can struggle against it, and that is ok, because change is scary and sometimes just plain sucks.  But we can also embrace it, speaking our eulogies of anger, fear, sadness, and gratitude one last time before we fling them into the fire and watch them burn.

I often cry at ceremonies of burnt release, such as the Burning Man Temple.  I am not the only one. As it burns, I hear the thousands of people around me crying or quietly singing or silently wishing, knowing we need this transition of release after so much build.  After holding these loves and epic changes in us so deeply, absolution is an imperative part of the shift from who we were to who we are becoming.

What needs releasing from your deep down stairwell?

Image credit: Curtis and Peggy Mekemson

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