Friday, April 6, 2012

Stories; loss; something new

I've been receiving the same lesson about "stories" from several completely different sources.

I was explaining to a caregiver about how I had gotten myself into a particular state, and at some point she interrupted me, and said "There's no reason to keep revisiting that particular story."

When I met Eric Small (yes, that Eric Small) at a training session for yoga teachers helping disabled students (I was a "sample student" so the teachers could practice on a real person), he said that the teachers should ask the students, "Tell me how you are now. Not what happens every day. Not how you got here. How you are."

And on Tiny Buddha's Seven Tips for a Happy Life, the very first tip is "Tell a new story."

What's most poignant about the author's own story, that the loss of a loved one helped spur her to make the changes she writes about.

Do not all these thoughts strike a resonant chord with us M.S.ers? They certainly do with me...

Because was not one of the first things we were forced to face... that maybe we're still being forced to face, because we haven't really faced it yet... the loss of a loved one? That loved one being... the "I" that I used to be? Our inner self, our inner light, is imperishable, eternal; and yet, we attach ourselves to this fleshy device we're piloting in this incarnation, and we call that thing "I." And the pre-M.S. "I" that even if we didn't love, we were certainly comfortable with and in... that's gone.

And even though we tell ourselves that we've "let go" of the "old me," we still haven't let go of the old stories. Certainly, that sort of attachment has nothing to do with any neurological disease, and there are stories that are themselves thousands of years old, about people fighting that particular battle.

My life is changing. Even more than neurologically, my life is changing. The neurological changes were simply the first dominos that were knocked over... the rest of the dominoes are still falling, and right now they're starting to fall very copiously, whether I want them to or not.

So here are the seeds of the new stories that I need to start telling myself; the stories that I don't need to "attach to," but that I need, for the moment, here and now, to embrace.

Seed number 1:
"That was then; this is now."

And seed number 2:
"This, I can do. Which is good, because... I love doing it!"

Stories of empowerment. They take as much effort to tell as the old, negative stories that anchor us to the past we need to release, but... unlike the old stories, they feed the future.

Time to tell new stories.


Muffie said...

The shell that surrounds us has changed, but the "I" that once existed, still does. You can't define yourself by the physical alone -- that "I" is what shines through, even through the decrepit exterior. It took me a while to recognize this, but think about it, do you really see that "I" as just the body?
Sure it's wonderful to live in the present, and prepare for the future, but those "past" stories still hold a great treasure. Don't let them go -- just rework them.

Robert Parker said...

Oscar Ichazo says, "Your karma is your treasure." He's quite right, of course... it's your treasure when you're living fully in the present, as opposed to living full in the story, which is just another way of attaching to the past and not perceiving the present.

And that's the real challenge... being fully in the present, while being enriched by your past, not imprisoned by it.

But yours are wise words—thank you for them!