You can’t save anyone from life, not even yourself.
People are fond of saying life is about the journey, not the destination. This never made sense to me, because the only reason we journey is to reach a destination. Thinking of life as a story makes more sense. We all start with “once upon a time” and end with “happily ever after”, but we get to fill in the blank pages in between. Each life is a unique story, and requires that we live it as we go.
I was recently feeling really bad that I couldn’t stop a friend from certain turmoil. I pointed out where they were heading, asked them to consider the glaring signs, but still, they continued. This isn’t the first time this has happened. People just seem unable to see the issues I point out, once they have decided on a path. People can only hear what they are ready to hear. My Grandma had this same frustration with me… “Why can’t you learn from other people’s mistakes? Why must you always make your own?”
As is my normal, after I felt everything that came up about my friend, I turned the dialog inward. “I’m so sorry I can’t save from your own decisions” became my higher self talking to me. “I’m so sorry life hurts” became me talking to my body. “I wish I could do more to protect you” became my liver speaking to me. After some crying and integration, I realized no one can save us from life. That’s the whole point.
If you think about your favorite story, it’s the exciting middle part that makes it worthwhile. It’s the cliffhangers, narrow escapes, and unintended heroism that make it worth retelling. Many popular stories have some version of the hero’s journey, as described by Joseph Campbell. We are all the heroes of our own story.
None of this information is really new. But, for me, it really changed my whole perspective. Instead of seeing pain and poor choices, I see a new chapter of the book. They just wanted to shake things up a bit to keep us on the edge of our seats. What an interesting story to watch! This goes for my own life, as well. It has truly been an adventure… with death-defying acts, romance, and unpredictable plot twists. Not to mention the beautiful scenery and wardrobe. It’s got a little of everything.
Now that I see it as a story, I can more easily guide the main plot. And I get to choose the character I play. I’ve never been the ‘damsel in distress’ type. Now I can look at my reactions and choices to see who they resonate as… the victim? The martyr? The evil betrayer? The hero? The kind advisor? So many options. Now the rambling of my monkey mind can easily tell me who I’m playing at the moment, and then I can formulate actions to move into or away from a character.
This is just another way to distance myself from my own story, in order to view it with a little objectivity. My story, and also my friends’ stories. Everyone is writing their own book. All are interesting. I just want mine to be on purpose. I want to be aware. I want to write myself as my own hero. And you? What’s your story?
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