You are the author of your own life story. ~Unknown
Someone asked me if I write fiction. No, I replied, and thought to myself, I don’t write fiction. I live it.
We all do. We tell ourselves stories and then believe them. Our emotions are rooted in the narrative. We react and make choices, live and love, fear and hate, enter into relationships and leave them – all based on what we have told ourselves about what is happening.
We rewrite history many times over, to punish ourselves over what we regret, to reward ourselves for good deeds that grow more heroic in the retelling, to hide our shame.
And we believe. My sister and I used to joke that our mother could have passed a lie detector test on some of the whoppers she told. She was her own most gullible audience.
Our most cherished tale is of course the most fundamental one – about our own identity. “I am the one who ….” Think of the instructions that give us a list of answers and tell us to check all that apply. All those checked answers make up the image I have of myself. Several images perhaps: the one I present to the world, the one I wish to be, the one I fear I really am.
We were asked in a spiritual direction group to “tell our story” and to listen with an open heart to others tell theirs. Revealing and tender. But still … stories. The deeper question is who are we when we drop all our stories.
Try it. Who am I? See every answer as the story it is. Go deeper still.
Who am I?
Until finally, you inevitably arrive and the only possible ultimate answer.
I don’t know.
And now we live truth.