I had a wonderful time with you this weekend. Thanks for the memories and the stories that come with them. Speaking of stories, you let me make up some stories to tell you during our time together. And I loved the way you were attentive to the unfolding of those stories as I told them. They were, of course, just silly little made up of stories about you and your life. As you know, not all stories are true but even the stories that are not true often have truth in them. In fact, sometimes stories are made up to point to a truth.
I read a book not too long ago by David Loy, entitled The World is Made of Stories. In that book he points to the fact that our lives become a story of sorts. Stories we hear about ourselves from others and stories we believe about ourselves. Some of these are true and some of them we just have bought into and we "think" they are true.
Figuring out the truth of who we are (what is the real story) is a life long process, always unfolding as we mature on this spiritual journey. David Loy says, "The problem is not stories themselves but how we relate to them."
He goes on to say:
If delusion is awareness stuck in attention-traps, and enlightenment liberates awareness, does the spiritual path involve finding the correct story, or getting rid of stories, or learning to story in a new way?
I want to think maybe it is all of the above.
I'll be vulnerable here and tell you a personal story in a way of giving some understanding to the above statement.
One of my stories that I remember is my father never letting me assist him in trying to fix things. He always told me I didn't know how to do it. A specific memory relating to this experience is him always just telling me to hold the flash light so he could see what he was doing but he would not let me participate in anyway in the "fixing" of the problem.
"Holding the flashlight" became a metaphor for me regarding my ability to fix things. Or should I say my inability to fix things. Eventually I bought into that story. For the longest time I believed I did not have the aptitude to "fix" broken things so I never made an effort to learn.
That story became part of who I was, not who my father was as a teacher. Eventually, through my self awareness, I came to understand that I was not the problem in this story, my father was.
I learned to relate to this story in a different kind of way because I came to understand who I was and not who I was told who I was: "You can't do this."
"The problem is not stories themselves but how we relate to them" David Loy
Loy, David (2010-05-10). The World Is Made of Stories . Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition.
Your story is continuing to unfold Alice. May your awareness continue as well, so you will know which stories to keep and which stories to discard.
In the beginning was Alice…
I'm really not that good at fixing "things".