We begin flush with excitement, thrilled at the opportunity to express something in a way the world has never known. As we go deeper into the story, the forest grows thick with ghosts from our past. We can become haunted by the ancient fear that we are not up to the task. Surely, we are destined to fail. We find ourselves, whether consciously or not, in a duel to the death with the beliefs of our ancestors. This is inevitable, because (are you ready for this?) story is always about betrayal.
Inherent in every transformation is the betrayal of a lie.
We can become paralyzed by this. Or it can thrill us. We can become thrilled by the truth. Whether it is conscious or not, the desire to write is connected to the desire to evolve, to untangle the lie that we have been carrying around about ourselves for a million years. The lie is that we are not enough, that we are not forgiven, that it is never going to happen for us, that we should just forget it, pack it up, go back to wherever we came from.
The story asks everything of us for a reason. If it didn’t, we would never surrender.
Through story, we engage our unconscious in confronting our ego, our desire to get something that we want, only to discover its impossibility. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to surrender our old “story” about ourselves, to let the old identity die, so that a new one can be born.
This is challenging and courageous. No one out there will ever encourage you to do it. No one will ever even expect it of you. It is the soft whisper at the outer edges of our imagination, calling us to drive ourselves deeper into the truth. It is something that our conscious minds push away, inviting distraction because we are afraid to grow.
But guess what?
Our soul wants to grow. Our soul hungers for something more than belonging. It hungers for its true place, for a connection where there is no compromise of its fundamental nature. It aches to know life in a way that we can’t grasp with our conscious mind. Thus, the urge to evolve does not go away. Story is alchemy. If we trust the process and stay with it, it will tell us all we need to know.
Why do you write?