The past is a collection of stories. In reality, these stories are the only way the past continues to exist and so it behooves us (me) to tell stories that empower. It behooves us (me) to recount a version that plants seeds of creativity, stories that catapult us in the direction of our dreams rather than our tragedies. I notice this because I notice that lately I am hesitant to weave victim stories. This is progress. What I haven’t yet done is tell a tale of license. I haven’t authorized my own power. I am still lingering on the sidelines.
If I am ever to live the life I say I want, I need a new story. Is that true? Do I need a story? If I did need a story I think I’d need tell one that distills the events of my life into steps that lead towards empowerment, because while I am not telling “poor me” tales, I am also not telling “watch me” or “look at me” tales. Mostly, when asked what I am up to, I don’t have a lot to say.
Do I need a story? I think about the corn sage and ponder what life would be like if every moment I was simply present to what is in front of me.
Maybe the answer lies is letting go of the notion that there is somewhere to get to, some goal to be accomplished. I sometimes frame my life with goals. It’s future based, and although I have improved in my ability to trust that things are working out even when I can’t exactly see where the path leads, I still insist that the point is to follow the road. I act like there is some place to get to and I’m not sure there is. I suspect there is only wakening up to what was always there.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T. S. Eliot
I think this is what happens when one is simply present without layering the moment with stories.
I am reading Byron Katie’s A Mind at Home with Itself. It is the perfect reminder to release my stories. Katie likens the Work she does to a raft that we use to move out of our stories. “It’s the mind’s way of meeting itself with understanding.” We use it to get to the other side. She says, “When we reach the “other” shore, we realize that we have never left the shore we started from.” In other words, nothing “out there” changed. “There’s only one shore, and we are already there, though some of us haven’t realized it yet. We think that we need to get from here to there, but there turns out to be here. It was here all along.”
A friend of mine recently remarked that it is ego that keeps track of memories, which makes sense to me since it is ego that judges and decides what things mean. We all have our stories. They are, in essence, the ways we use to define ourselves and our lives. Stories are how we interject meaning. As A Course in Miracles tells us in Lesson 2, “I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.”
But, in truth, I think that only the story is love. If I am telling any other story, I suspect that I haven’t seen what is right in front of me. It is mine to relish. It is mine to appreciate. It is mine to lavish with love. It is mine to know via the Holy Spirit and if I haven’t done that, I think I am lost in illusion.
Katie says, “The mind can never be controlled. It can only be questioned, loved and met with understanding.” “The only important thing to know is this: if a thought hurts question it.”
Lesson 25: I do not know what anything is for. “You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals. These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you. This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for.”
Love is the answer. Of course, I don’t really comprehend the enormity of God’s Love, but I do know that to be in the “real world” is to be awash in Love; to be at peace. I don’t know that I am capable of being storyless. I still think of myself as this person known as Nancy. I still identify with this body construct and even though I know that the ego I is false and not who I am, I am entrenched enough to sucked in to the storyline. I call that being human.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I think I just need to question whether or not it serves me. Am I teaching love? Am I seeing love? Am I extending love?
In the end, I suspect that that is all that matters.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.