You know every once in a while, I have to remind myself that I’m something of a big deal. No, I don’t mean in a narcissistic, my ass is holier-than-thou sort of way. I mean that as a living, breathing, being, an absolute miracle of biology, chemistry, and mathematics, with an instrument in my head that puts the most sophisticated computers to shame—I am a work of art. The most marvelous thing is that this artistry is interwoven with trillions upon trillions of other masterpieces that connect me, my fellow human, and the stars into one perfectly interwoven tapestry.
Now metaphysical glories aside, you may wonder what possesses me, if not narcotics (which I don’t indulge in) to engage in these thoughts. The reason for this is because every now and then, I find myself losing this perspective, and allowing circumstances or moments to set me off balance. When I fail to catch myself, the story can get quite dark—but if I’m quick enough, I start to redirect myself.
When I first started writing this blog, I started with the post The Lowdown On The Story. In that post I wanted to expand the concept of story—and extend it back to ourselves. I am—we all are—stories. However for me, this philosophy has deeper implications. Regardless of your personal spiritual or non-spiritual orientation, let’s take into consideration a few things. Suppose there were three major components that went into the story of your life. The first I’ll call “The Force”—like Star Wars. The second I’ll call “The Fates”, like in Greek mythology; and the third, is you. Let’s also say that the Force was responsible for laying down the grid work—all the patterns and lines that connect everything. The Fates job would be in enforcing or maintaining that grid work. Now the most significant and perhaps challenging question is determining your role in this story.
The way I see things, each person is the actor, interpreter and writer of their own story. What do I mean? If you think about when a person is born, they come into a world which they had absolutely no control in shaping, and none in choosing, and yet—they are already a part of the greater story (grid work). Circumstances are placed before them, which often times they have little to no control over (fate). Their role then becomes three-fold: interpret those circumstances; mentally plot out how they are going to adjust themselves to those circumstances; and then act accordingly.
For me what makes this so beautiful is that you are constantly engaging and creating this monumental story, and impacting the stories of others along the way. The reason why we tend to lose sight of this is because Fate at times, can be a mean SOB. Also, we are constantly being told that some people (stories) are better than ours and through the media, family, friends, or pseudo-friends misdirecting us, we lose sight of the fact that we are the greatest story of our lives. What makes it so great is NOT, because of any societal interpretation of “true” success. It is great, because it is the only story we get to feel, think about, write, direct, and best of all live. Living is the greatest story, and the sometimes, bumps, pain, or just really shitty things that happen to you along the way, at the end of the day, can expand and enhance that story even more.
The final aspect of recognition of this greatness is acknowledging the fact that you have very little to no control in the greater sense (Force & Fates like to claim that domain). But what you do have is the power to interpret and also determine how your story gets interpreted. A perfect example of this is Christopher Reeve. Here was a man who was gorgeous, brilliant, and marvelously talented, who with a bizarre twist of fate, suffered the most devastating event that can befall a person. The irony of a man who played Super Man (and in my opinion the best man to ever play that role) becoming permanently handicapped, could have turned into an epic tragedy. However, by his choosing to interpret his story differently—he allowed us to see it as an inspiration.
This is the most important lesson to learn. Whether you are an artist, a sales clerk, a manager, a secretary, a painter, a doctor, a movie star or a janitor—it makes no difference. Embrace the story that IS YOU, and embrace the story WITHIN YOU. Remember the journey, not the destination, is what matters the most—and as I always like to say, your story—my story—isn’t done—yet.