Those Old Sad Stories

I had these sad stories I used to tell. You know the ones. You might have told them, too. In fact, you still might be telling them. Almost everyone does. They are so pervasive in our world. They go something like this, about someone we admire and long to be like… “Yes, well, that worked great for her, because, you know, she is different than the rest of us, she has some special talent, a talent like that is very rare, very few of us are ever going to be able to do what she did. Certainly I don’t have what it takes to be like her. I am just a humble girl from the Pine Barrens and the Jersey shore, no one there ever does what she did.”  Blah, blah, blah. Me and my sad stories.

Because that is all they are. Sad Stories.  Stories without power. Tales I used to like to endlessly tell myself and the people around me that really aren’t very interesting. To anybody. Did you ever hear yourself go on and on and on about how you can’t do what your heart is longing for because you have this or that wrong with you, this or that smallness in you, this or that insurmountable thing that holds you back?

In these past fifteen years I have unraveled all of those sad stories about myself. I have looked at each one, in detail. And I have discovered that none of them are true.

I have discovered that the only thing that limits my possibilities, my magnificence, my ability to be exactly who I am called to be for myself and for everyone on the planet is me. Those stories were a part of an elaborate game I was playing with myself so I could keep pretending, keep wallowing, keep staying small. So I wouldn’t have to risk actually, finally, incredibly, coming to this place where I have everything I love. So I wouldn’t have to sink into the infinite joy and love that is available here. So I could stay mired in the common and familiar muck of the world that liked to tell me that scarcity and lack was the only thing that was available to me.

Those kinds of stories no longer hold anything for me. I don’t believe them about myself or anyone. They simply have ceased to have meaning in my life. I have shed them layer by layer and they just don’t even bother to speak to me anymore. They held a place in my life that they no longer hold.  Our relationship has ceased to exist.

So, where am I left without those comfortable, worn-out, drop dead boring stories about my inability to be who I am, to shine my light, to own every ounce of my incredible power? What does their absence allow that I couldn’t let in before?

The answer is you. Their absence allows me to have a relationship with you. Letting go of those stories has turned my eye away from my endless lamentations about the impossibility of me having what I want and being who it is my purpose to be and gifted me with something precious and beautiful. It has given me a new view of the world. It has allowed me to be present here. With you, with the whole glorious world that holds me. Owning the magnificence that is truly my own sets me free.  To listen. To see. To understand. To know. To just be.

I don’t have to hold myself back anymore. And now I don’t have to hold you or the world back, either. I can be here with you. And we can discover the beauty that awaits us together. What is the story that is holding you back from being here now? Will you catch yourself the next time you start to tell it and join me? The air is fresh and clear here and I promise you will be delighted by the brilliance of the way this world actually shines when your eyes are open to see.

I love a good story, I am a writer after all. But those endless sad tales that used to keep me small aren’t the ones I choose to tell anymore. You have that same choice. The world is gathered and ready for you to write your name in the stars. There is a different kind of story you can tell. A story about power and love and joy. It is there for you when you are ready to take it. It’s holding out its hand for your magnificence. “Ah,” it says, “it’s you.”