The beloved Cathedral de Notre Dame in Paris was burning yesterday. The absolutely gorgeous, ornate structure with beauty so intricate, so masterful, that it could not help but arrest your breath and capture your heart upon witnessing such creativity, such manifestation. It was burning. Hundreds of years, blood sweat and tears, hopes, dreams and fears...burning.
As the media panicked, it was tempting to get emotionally swept up in the enveloping flames. It was hard not to see the beauty overwhelmed in a fiery inferno and feel the collective heartbreak. It was hard not to cleave, white-knuckled, onto the certainty of our past, in lieu of letting go and trusting in our beautiful, brilliant new unknown.
We tend to forget that like La Cathedral De Notre Dame, we, too, have risen from the ashes before. We, too, have been knocked down, run-around, burnt to the ground. We have all suffered pain, hurt, catastrophic destruction, and we have all taken one step at a time into the baptism of our future. We each have risen, like a phoenix, from the ashes of doubt, destitution, despair. We have spread our wings, when fully weaned from the clutches of grief, and flown again. We may not have looked the same, but we were born anew into a beautiful amalgamation of past, present and future. Artistry and ingenuity spanning time and space that morphed into something new; something unique.
This is evolution. Progress. Innovation. This is growth. And it is what we as humans came here to do; to constantly call forth collective renewal.
It is hard to mourn the death of what has been for so long; it is hard to grieve for the release of familiarity. However, it is the only way to make room in our hearts, in our expectations, in our lives for something new, something mind-blowing, something exponentially expansive to our future.
In order to begin a new day, we must surrender the night. The sun does it, the moon follows suit, even the smallest flower in nature has an innate biorhythm that allows it to begin each day as a culmination of everyday prior. We humans are a culmination of every day, every moment, every millisecond prior, so there is no need to look back. For, we are quite literally biologically, atomically, and metaphysically equipped to appreciate where, how, and ALL that we are in the present moment, while focusing on what is ahead of us. And if we can honor, appreciate and then release the past, we can fully embrace, bring in, and create the future of our dreams.
We are each our own living masterpiece. Which means that we each are artists beyond measure. We can rebuild ourselves stronger, deeper, more emotionally colorful. We can fix broken bones, heal disease, sew together chasms of the soul. We certainly have the capability to rebuild la cathedral de Notre Dame with the same brilliant artistic and architectural mastery, radical ingenuity, unparalleled spiritual and physical intention...
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]