I write stories, in my head. These stories are what will happen in my life. I can’t remember when I started doing this, I was quite young I think. It’s the meta-narrative of my life, the overarching plot. In these stories this action will lead to that event and then x, y and z will be possible. Experience, though, is showing me that my stories are not always true. The first time I came up against an uncooperative plot line I re-wrote the narrative. Instead of the heroine following this path, she finds her way blocked and, full of resourcefulness, negotiates the obstacle and triumphs! Huzzah!
Only the more this happens, the harder it is to keep a sense of the narrative. The obstacles come more quickly, the story becomes twisted and confusing. It splits from reality and the story life becomes so disjointed from real life that it’s hard to match the two up anymore.
The epiphany comes when I realise I need to let all those stories go. Because they aren’t the real story. The real story is more gritty, more powerful, more surprising. It moves at such a break-neck speed, shifting like sands. It changes constantly. Releasing the old stories frightens me. What if I am going to drift, like a post-modern novel, through surreal landscapes to inconclusive endings? If I stop writing the story where do I go next.
Shifting my metaphor I become an explorer. Rather than writing about my travels through life I will be living it, rather than thinking I will be feeling, rather than planning I would be doing. It moves moving from air to earth. And fire.
Releasing the stories means letting go of an illusion of control, of a sense of mastery. It was a fiction anyway, but a comfortable one. Releasing the stories means that I step beyond words and into the depths of experience. Immersed. I may get lost here. I may not be able to see the path ahead. Likely I never could. I will only be able to take the next step. The next breath. To trust in the unfolding, the becoming.