On this website’s ’About’ page, I write:
As a memoirist and storyteller, I believe that questioning the stories we hold true, writing new ones from power and possibility, and living deeply and intentionally from our revisions is life’s greatest journey.
I assume a lot in that sentence, including:
First, unless we go through some process of personal transformation, we will be the product of other people’s stories, no matter how much freedom those stories promise. The stories we inherit or adopt can be political, religious, or even “spiritual.” But there has to be an awakening born from places beyond the stories, and that awakening has to be given the time and space to unfold. Only then do the stories fall away, little by little. Many of us get attached to a narrative or series of narratives, and we then try to make everything fit within our attachments. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s often a starting point, but if the attachment obscures further growth, we’ve shortchanged ourselves — and others. In this regard, that approach is self-defeating, no matter how many ‘amens’ or ‘namastes’ one slaps on.
Second, the power to write and rewrite our stories comes from places beyond language. Any story that tells you language or symbols contain some ultimate truth has flatlined the story’s meaning; language, stories, and symbols are pointers. In this sense, fundamentalist religion and intellectual over-identification share the same fallacy, excessive mind identification. More important, though language and symbols are pointers, they are also reality creators, meaning they can either point you toward deeper, better, expansive realities, or they can reinforce bad patterns that keep the mind engaged and distracted. That’s why how we speak and what we focus on matters: our life, its values, and its expressions change as we consciously get better at navigating the reality we’re creating. This evolving, expanding freedom is sometimes called ‘grace,’ and it’s marked, in part, by growing personal authenticity.
Finally, all stories fall away before all that Is. Language is only a tool. Life and our awareness of it beyond our neurotic attachments are what beckon, that is, life’s is-ness
Language is a great human crown, but it is a hard taskmaster if it controls us.
Our redemption lies in stillness, the inner gateways beyond language.
By cultivating a relationship with inner awareness, we begin to see how much we’ve been trapped by our stories, and how much we live in unnecessary constructs: religion’s stories, society’s stories, family stories, our stories.
Not all of our stories are bad, and many help us to act in ways that serve ourselves and others. But often we’re not mindful that a story or series of stories has lodged itself within us as a way of being, and these stories still control large swaths of our life as we unconsciously and detrimentally hold these stories as true in too many places.
Un-storying ourselves is ‘weeding’ [remembering that so-called weeds are often good] the soul, getting rid of the stories we don’t want. We can then plant and let grow what we do want, in life’s every area. I don’t believe this weeding happens in psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic practices, although the right professional relationship may support our evolution/development/self-actualization. Cultivating awareness is a journey into one’s own soul and self that no one can define or dictate by way of language; it’s a way of knowing and being that unfolds from within us.
It is a soul enfolding that is Universal and ever unfolding.
This entry is another imperfect pointer, a personal un-story that’s cleared a little more soul space.
How is your un-story going today?