Sunday’s Wisdom #425: The Past is Ashes

“Let go of the past tonight
Choose the future only you define
Even when the flames burn too bright, you’re alive
From the ashes you rise”
– from Sparks, by Takanashi Kiara
(lyrics by Kira)

I could pretty much copy and paste the lyrics for this entire song, and I wouldn’t need to comment any further.

It is amazing how songs can come from such an unexpected source and yet still touch our hearts. I certainly would never have expected pop songs produced by Vtuber idols to speak to me in any sort of profound way, but this is the second time I am drawing wisdom from such. Where Irys’ Gravity feels like a profound expression of my own heart, one which gives me hope in the assurance that I am not alone, Kiara’s Sparks reinforces another hope, an urging of general advice – though it is left for me to choose how to apply it – for how to make my life better and happier.

Get out of your own head, keep your head and don’t be afraid, dare to take a step or even dance in the rain, remember life is what you make it, be yourself, and, in this particular moment, don’t let your past hold you back. That’s the sort of thing this song is about. (and I highly recommend giving it a listen!)

The lore of Kiara’s character is that she is a Phoenix, that legendary firebird which rises anew from its own ashes. It’s a recurring theme in her music, and it speaks to something deep in human nature, and human observation of nature. Lands which are devastated by disaster heal and live again in remarkably short periods. Entire species go extinct, and yet life continues on, adapting to a world that is always changing even though it looks to be always the same. Small wonder we can conceive of a creature which soars through the heavens, burning like the stars, always dying and always living again.

So it is with people, with you and I, in our lives. There are all sorts of things which arise to weigh us down and hold us as if captive by the past. It could be a personal loss, or the happenings of great events which leave entire populations in deprivation. It could be some terrible trauma which was inflicted upon us, or it could be the weight of our own sins and mistakes, our shortcomings and our failures. It could simply be that, in the course of our lives, we have worn ourselves into some sort of rut in which we have lingered so long that we can no longer believe that we can leave it for something better. Whatever it is, we see our past, and we cannot see our future as different in any way we actually want.

We must let go of that. That way of thinking, and the past which taught it to us, must be let go. We must dare to challenge ourselves, and accept that same challenge. We must turn around and stop looking at the past if we are to see the endless possibilities of the future. It’s not easy to change, neither ourselves nor our circumstances nor our present level of happiness, or lack thereof. It requires digging deep and stoking the hottest fires of our heart and soul. It may feel like it’s too much, like we will surely burn up from it, but that is merely burning away the shell of who we have been. So long as we are alive, we can rise again and leave that former version of us behind in the ashes.

We can do better. We can be better. We can take our future in hand, once we let go of the past.

The past is ashes. The future still burns bright.

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