Image by Reimund Bertrams
What's your story?
There's magic waiting to be revealed...
If you were to write a screenplay that was turned into the movie of your life, would it be a comedy, a mystery thriller, an adrenal pumping adventure, an insightful documentary, a snooze fest, a horror film...? If we think of our lives that way and then ponder why movies are entertaining or boring or informative, there are clues to be found about how to live a more enjoyable and meaningful life.
Interestingly, almost all films are love stories. Even in the most fantastic sci-fi adventures there's a "love interest" and, in the end, some kind of resolution that involves a deepened connection. Two people traverse hell, often including serious challenges with each other, to finally arrive in some version of "heaven." Roll credits.
So, Who's Your Lover In Your Life Story?
Let's play a mind game. Imagine that your lover is ... yourself! And imagine that your life story tracks a journey of growing intimacy ... with yourself. Those of us who work out in a gym probably understand that building muscle mass involves destruction and re-creation. We tear down, then we build up. We may also understand that the same thing happens in relationships, especially in the close ones. Our struggles make us stronger... if we hang in there. If we complete our "work outs" together without giving up.
What about the challenges we encounter getting along with ourselves? My experience is that most of us seem to be toughest on "me." Behind the façade of a smiling dinner partner, someone at a desk or on the phone, even that body close beside someone else all night, there's a secret factory of constant ripping down occurring. And, sadly, without the necessary building back up.
Result? As the years go by, we tend to get increasingly negative about ourselves. With more time on our hands, we can lose ourselves in regretful reflections about woulda coulda shoulda: "If only I'd done this, if only I hadn't done that, why do I always do that, why do I never do that..?"
Imagine seeing that on the big screen? What kind of a movie would that make? I guarantee, it wouldn't be a popular one. Who would want to see that kind of graphic reminder of one's own sorry internal state? No, we want to escape into a better place, forget about our troubles, experience a different world.
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What's Your Story?
OK. Continuing with this metaphor, let's re-ask that original question and go somewhere constructive with it: "What's your story?" Forget about your actual life for a moment and shift into your imagination. Pretend you are an author, contemplating a new book. The page is blank. Sure, you have a lifetime of experience to draw from, but you can write anything you want. The only limitation is your own imagination.
I'm the author right now so I'm going to do this and I'll share the process with you. You can practice on your own later.
I am a writer, obviously, and I have been for decades, so I've learned a few tricks of the trade. The first one is to start at the end. Why? Because if you don't know where you are going, how could you make decisions that would take you there? So, in this case, pen in hand (actually, fingers poised over the key board), I decide that my destination is "total self-love."
There's something else just as important for successful story navigation: knowing where your hero is starting from. The best stories employ what's called a "story gap," a chasm between where the star is and where they will end up.
Here's my protagonist: Born with big dreams, lived a small life. Thought I'd change the world, the world changed me. Realizing I'll die without accomplishing 1% of what I thought I would. Filled with regret.
What Kind Of Story Do I Want This To Be?
Next, what kind of story do I want this to be? It could be ponderous, a deep dark dive into psychological warfare that encourages readers/viewers to look within themselves. After all, as Socrates said, "The unexamined life isn't worth living." Yeah, I could write that. But in this moment, at 6:39 on Tuesday morning, it seems way too heavy to me. I'm the author, I get to choose, so I think I'll write a different story.
How about an entertaining romp starring a goofy character who bumbles his way through a fascinating series of mishaps that somehow always turn out OK in the end and, in the process, discovers how to love himself?
That sounds much more entertaining to me!
You're The Author Of Your Own Life Story!
Figure out where you want to go and where you're starting from. And enjoy this thought: "My life isn't over yet, I get to make it up the way I want to, and the best is yet to come!"
How can you know that's true? Because you're the author of your own life story! Next lesson: how to write that story.
All stories are about relationships. And all of them, in one way or another, are love stories.
In this lesson, we will experiment in the quantum field of imagination, what some call the "imaginal" world, with a seemingly unlikely relationship, the one between love and death.
So, the basics: love we want, death we don't. Love, however we conceive of it and experience is, registers as a positive. Death, in whatever way we've thought about it, shows up as a negative. We'd like more love and we'd prefer to put off death as long as possible, thank you very much.
What's Wrong With This Picture?
Heading now into our imaginal minds, let's pose an odd question: what if love and death are connected? If they are, in some mysterious way, then it becomes obvious that our positive/negative, good/bad, gimme more/stay away attitudes about love and death, reveal a fundamental and persistent conflict.
Let's examine these two components of our experiment. First, love.
What is love? Most people think immediately of romance, and sex, and two people (or more). These days we're expanding our concepts about gender and our understanding of the male/female dynamic is broadening from black and white into a rainbow. All of us have male and female aspects; what's dominant in each of us and how they merge between us is unique. In fact, what's becoming clear is that every relationship we have with another person is as unique as each individual is on their own. That's progress!
So, we experience love in our relationships with each other, sometimes as romance, sometimes including sex, but always in friendship. What about the relationship we have with ourselves? Self-love is an issue for most of us and the unkind judgments we harbor towards ourselves invariably show up in how we treat each other. As we learn to accept and love ourselves, we tend to discover greater ease and joy in our relationships with others.
Here's why. Just as it's common knowledge that every character who shows up in our dreams symbolizes some aspect of ourselves, the same is true of our relationships. Every person displays a projection of something that originates in us.
Since we are all doing this simultaneously it gets complicated!
If we concentrate on self-love for another moment, we might ask this provocative question: "Who is loving who?" Which, of course, inevitably sparks another, more familiar question: "Who am I?"
How About This For An Identity: "I Am Love"
"I am love." Read those three words a few more times to let the meaning echo through your understanding. "I am love." This means that I am not just a son, a father, a writer, a mechanic, or a teacher. I am not primarily worried, optimistic, fearful, or happy. I am not first a role nor an emotional state. First, I am love.
"I am love."
As love, which is not a thing or a person but a force, I flow through the roles I play and show up as the emotional states I experience. Let's hold that thought for another few moments while we explore the second element: death.
What Is Death?
Death is the end of our lives in these human bodies. Whether or not that is also the end of me and you can only be answered personally, when our time comes. Some who've returned from near-death experiences talk and write about a tunnel of light, meeting their guide, and reconnecting with their soul tribe. But brain scientists insist these are just fantasies, chemistry induced hallucinations. Who knows? I will and so will you, at the moment of death.
Finally, what's the possible relationship between love and death?
What if death represents an expansion of love, through liberation from the limited experience possible in a human body? And since death is as natural and inevitable as birth, what if death is not something to be avoided, but something to anticipate, in the same way we celebrate a birth?
After all, it's going to happen. Why not accept it? And why not look forward to it? We'll find out what's on "the other side." That sounds exciting!
I recently read about a personal development teacher who speaks about this in her workshops. She's been condemned for encouraging suicide. I studied her work. She does exactly the opposite, and so do I. But she is fiercely criticized. Of course, because death is a taboo subject and anyone who dares to talk about it becomes a projection for the fear that originates in the ones demonizing them.
Now, to wrap up this experiment, here's a declaration. Accept it for yourself, or not. Make up your own. But, in some way, please consider joining me in re-conceptualizing both love and death and embracing their relationship. This is the end of our story and the more we "know it," the better prepared we are to write a wonderful, loving, life story.
I am love. So are you.
Love never dies. Love was never born.
Love is the eternal force running the universe.
I am, you are, experiencing the love that "I am" in a human body.
This is a wonderful experience.
When I die, when you die, we will be liberated into an expanded experience of Love, capital L.
We can't rush that moment because life and death
are inextricably intertwined. Our moment of death will dawn
in the natural seasons of our life.
Love your death and die into love.
Copyright 2019. Natural Wisdom LLC.
Reprinted with permission of the author.
Book by this Author
The Noon Club: Creating The Future in One Minute Every Day
by Will Wilkinson
The Noon Club is a free member alliance that focuses intentional power every day at noon to create an impact in human consciousness. Members set their smart phones for noon and pause in silence or to offer a brief declaration, transmitting love into the quantum world of mass consciousness. Meditators lowered the crime rate in Washington DC in the 89's. What can we do in The Noon Club? Participation is simple. Just set your smart phone and pause at noon every day at noon to transmit. For updates on the program and more information, and to connect with other members, visit www.noonclub.org .
About the Author
Will Wilkinson is a senior consultant with Luminary Communications in Ashland, Oregon. He has authored or co-authored seven previous books, conducted hundreds of interviews with leading edge change agents, and is growing an international network of visionary activists. He is also the founder of The Noon Club, a free member alliance that focuses intentional power every day at noon to create an impact in human consciousness. Find out more at willtwilkinson.com/