We know each other by the stories we tell. In fact, we organize our lives through our stories, whether it is telling a friend about the trip you took to the market where you discovered some beautiful organic avocados, or sitting in a group telling the story of your grief. We may actually be creating our lives via these stories, so perhaps it would be wise to pay attention.
A wise woman said to me a long time ago: “As you tell the story, it begins to happen. So why not make it a good one?” I agree wholeheartedly and find myself concerned when I spend time with someone whose stories are filled with negativity, disgruntled complaints and woe. Not to be too simplistic, but if the stories we tell are dark and dreary, couldn’t that affect how we view the world? If we were paying attention to the story as it is shaped by our words, would we be able to tweak it a little? If like attracts like, do we attract the worst if that is where our attention is?
Grief is such an unsettling place. We must give voice to fears, anxiety, loneliness – all those seemingly negative and overwhelming emotions. Yet, is it possible to find a balance between releasing these monsters and searching for something positive – a kernel of gold within the muck that can give us hope? This kernel is the heart-seed of possibilities, a “promise,” as the poet Rabindrath Tagore said. We used this poem as part of our wedding ceremony, allowing for possibilities to show up in unexpected ways and to flower. Did I think that widowhood would be one of these possibilities? No. But I continue to tell a good story and to attempt, with great effort, to transform cataclysm into a meaningful life.
What story are you telling today? How can you use your story to transform your life?
The faith waiting in the heart of the seed
Promises a miracle of life
Which it cannot prove at once.