One of the profound joys of doing the work I do is sitting with people and hearing their stories – and bearing witness to their lives.
And the more I do, the more I am reminded of ancient myths – and the universality of The Hero’s Journey – and the recognition of the importance of that journey in our own lives.
We have lost sight, I think, of the grandeur of our stories, in the breathtaking sweep of our lives and the impact of the tales we tell about ourselves. We have become deaf to the primal heartbeat that propels our story onward – and immune to the meaning of all we have experienced along the way.
And, to our detriment, we have forgotten – that we control the narrative.
To a person, the stories I hear are filled with longing and love – dreams and desire – with shame and regret and failure – and success and joy and laughter.
If you stop right now – and – remember – and retrace – and reflect on your life – on all you have done and felt and survived – doesn’t it take your breath away?
It does mine.
And there is nothing more exciting than – sitting with someone – and surveying the landscape of their lives – and saying “Now what?” “What happens next?”
What stories will you add to your book today?
What will this page be about? This chapter…
Is this the part where you release that anger you’ve been holding? That grudge? That heartbreak? That betrayal?
Is this the part where you forgive someone?
Is this the part where you conquer a fear? Or take a risk?
Is this the chapter where you make that call? Or send that money? Or finally allow yourself to feel compassion for the struggling or the sick or the needy. Or – maybe – finally – compassion for yourself?
Is this at long last the arc in the story – when you realize – that as flawed as you may be – you did your best – and if you could have done it better in the moment you would have?
Are we at the place when you stand up for yourself – courageously – and declare “No. Never again. Not ever. YOU are no longer allowed… to make me feel this way… to do this to me… to say this to me.” And maybe that “YOU” – is you?
Is today the day, after suffering through a feast of losses – after sinking into utter despair – that you write – hope – back into your story?
Is hope in your book?
What are you writing today?