What is your story made up of?
Childhood memories? Some may be beautiful, some may be awkward. Some painful. Growing up into your angsty teenage years, furiously trying to figure out the world… maybe you adamantly stuck to the rules. Maybe you went off the rails in a search for yourself. Maybe you made some mistakes along the way. Or some mistakes happened to you. Perhaps every colour and emotion has washed over you, knitting together the bits and bobs that make up your story.
Everyone has a story.
Is that story who you are?
Is that story who you are? That’s a slightly different question. Either way, we cannot deny the perilous journey of our own narrative, even if it only exists by lingering on in the imagination.
It is true that ultimately, you should let go of your story if you want to find out who you truly are. That if you release yourself from the chains of the mind and the past, you can step into the power of presence.
Your story is still real
Despite me saying this, there’s a lot of spiritualists out there in the world that will deny all validity of someone’s story in the first place.
There are some people that will tell you to let it go without another thought, or that it was never real in the first place. Hearing this is also not useful, as all that does it guilt people for being a human.
Rain-check: your story is real, it matters, it has a function. Even though there comes a point where you will want to let go of it, you have to accept it first.
Why do we have a story?
The reason people build a story is because it acts as a safety net to contextualise and understand emotions with.
Let’s say you are knee deep in the story of your life; lost in your identities, roles, thoughts and problems. You wake up one morning overwhelmed with emotion, but no idea why you are feeling it. There is no past to reflect back on and no plausible reason as to why you are faced with all of this muck.
If this were the case, you would feel like you were drowning in a pool of insanity. There would be no way to effectively process how you feel.
We need our story so that we can work through the trapped emotions inside us. It is the perfect way to guide us towards paying attention to our deepest feelings.
This is what heals the old wounds we have plastered up when really, they needed stitches.
It is not wrong to feel the emotions of your story
Sometimes people go down a spiritual path and they think they have to remove their story before they feel ready. They will avoid it, repress it and resist it even though it feels achingly real and present.
“You darn illusion” they might painstakingly grunt to themselves, without realising that the core element of a spiritual journey is nothing more than accepting what is.
If your story wants to be seen, heart, felt, and is coming up to bite you regardless, then I’m sorry to break it to you… that is what you’ve got to accept.
Once we have paid enough attention to the emotions inside us, thoughts and memories about our story no longer trigger us. Old narratives no longer need to swarm round the mind because there is nothing left inside us that we are resisting.
Once you have accepted you story, you are free
Only then, we are fully free from the chains of the past and can permanently reside in the presence of the moment.
In the end, the story is just another experience. One could argue all day about how real, or how much of an illusion it is, but ultimately; having one is the perfect launchpad to awaken from.
It is the very process of having a story in the first place that gives us a journey, a feeling and a reason to awaken into the bliss of our own loving presence.