I’ve been working on a piece for some time now that I’ve struggled with more than anything I’ve ever written. I’ve submitted it for class, edited it, put it away, come back to it, and picked it back up. Yet, a year later, I’m still struggling.
The fact that I don’t know HOW to tell this story is curious. I mean, no one knows the details better than I do. Yet still, I don’t really know how to tell it. Because I think, even after all this time, it’s still not clear in my head what happened, what part I played, or how I feel about it. And that’s a problem. Because until I do, I don’t know that I can truly move forward.
I read a quote earlier this week that helped make sense of my confusion:
“If you have a subject that makes you uncomfortable when you think about it, it means there is a strong desire related to it. Which means it really, really, really matters. So finding a way to think about it and feel good is your work.” ~ Abraham
It really is my “work” – to feel good about it. And although writing is how I do this, I think this is true for all of us.
How we tell our stories, to ourselves and others, matter. They hold power and, I believe, are the key to what happens next. Whether we are the villain, the hero, or the damsel in distress. We choose. We write the tale. And therefore, we decide how the story ends: happily ever after or not so much.
Fr. Justin Belitz is a a Franciscan priest (and dear friend of my family) who teaches the Silva Method of meditation all over the world. We took his amazing course when I was just 18 years old and finishing my first year of college. So much of what I’ve learned from this wise man has changed my life for the better. But one of the first things he taught us was very powerful.
“All life experiences are positive,” he told us. “Some are pleasant, and some are not so. But they are ALL positive.”
I’ve never forgotten that, even though I often fight it. Like with this story, which is like a puzzle in my head, with a few pieces that don’t quite fit. Yet I’m still trying in vain to find a way to finish it. To see the positive outcome.
As a recovering perfectionist and control freak, it’s hard to remember that when your day, your job or the love of your life gets pulled out from under you that it’s “positive.” That it’s all leading us to a better place. If only we’d let go and see where it takes us. Deep down, I know this is true. It’s the holding on to how we THINK things should be that really scrapes us up.
“Let go or be dragged.” Right?
My version of my story has changed over the years. I’ve played all the parts, from hero to villain to victim. But if in the end, if it’s all as it’s meant to be (as I truly believe it is), then it all happened the way it was meant to happen. Every choice, every word, and yes – every disappointment. It was exactly meant to go that way, so I’d get to where I am right now.
So in reality – no one is actually a villain or a victim. They’re all just supporting characters in the movies of our lives. So why not tell the story with you as the imperfect but lovable hero? Making mistakes, and learning as you go.
As Justin says, all is truly in perfect order. Just breathe.