Everyone Is Valuable

Do you love to read? Or are you more of a writer?

Or perhaps like me, you are both.

Some part of me has always wanted to write. At first, I felt as though I needed to conjure up a story, but as time went on, the stories came to me, often unbidden.

When my grandmother came for visits, she slept in my bed, and I moved into a room off my parent’s bedroom, where my mom did all her sewing. It had the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on. We called it the slab-lounge.

This tiny room is where I wrote my first story, a real ‘page turner’, titled, The Case of Shootist McRowan. At age nine, I was all about the FBI, so of course, that’s the subject for the story. Shootist Mc Rowan was the leader of a gang of really bad guys, and it was up to the FBI to hunt him down and capture him. The ‘good guys’ won, as you might expect. I probably still have the story somewhere.

When I was in college and supposed to be studying and attending all my classes, I was out in nature.

My favorite places to explore were the streams that ran down into the river from the surrounding hillsides. The water ran wild some days, and it was pure challenge to stay upright and dry. It was and still is, one of my most ‘happy places’.

One day while wandering along one of the closest streams to me, a vision came and a story. It took me quite by surprise and I had no idea where the story was leading me. But that’s part of the joy of being a writer, you get to share the mystery and the magic.

I’d like to share the story with you.

Jamie

Jamie is wandering aimlessly down the path, carrying his stuffed bear with him. Small tears of wonder formed in the corners of his eyes as he gazed at the newborn leaves. He saw in them, faces, smiling, gentle, little faces.

On the path there was a brook that went splashing, gurgling, babbling down the hillside, cold and bright. It caught Jamie’s eye and brought him closer and closer, until he stood at its edge. He leaned forward and peered into the water. All those bubbles bouncing off the rocks. He watched and watched, being carried down the brook several times until he burst in the orange light upon the banks. One time when he burst, he spread into the air and floated away with the wind, listening to the tales of the birds.

Once again on the path, Jamie walked, almost faltering on a broken tree limb. Shivers grew on Jamie’s back, his only sign of the cold.

White frosted ghosts hurried down through the air past Jamie’s face. He turned his head upward and there grew a snow petal tree; each branch coated with soft, clean white petals. One petal dropped and wove a pattern, gliding to the earth. Jamie watched, reaching out his hands, hoping. And, as though the petal was a part of him, it tumbled softly down into his loving hands. He kissed the petal and bending, rested it in a special place among some purple flowers.

The path was ending and ahead at the gate stood Jamie’s nurse. She strode out through the gate and taking hold of his hand, she led him home.

Though Jamie turned twenty-seven last week his heart remains full of the wonder and awe we all so often miss. He is often called by many names, none of which are who he is. He cannot be housed neatly in a category or diminished by a definition.

I see him as unique. He has a special value to me because he views the world in a way I so admire. He sees the simple, obvious treasure of ‘being’ here on this magnificent earth.

I am so grateful for the story he told through me.

I loved him then and I love him now.

Stories We Tell Ourselves

Three different thoughts occurred to me recently. Interestingly, they seemed connected, so I’m going to string them together in a series of posts for you.

The first one is about the ‘Stories We Tell Ourselves’ and how they impact our lives. The second post I’m calling, ‘Cease Fire’, and it is an opportunity for us to call a truce with ourselves. The third is an extension of the first two and is titled, ‘Claiming Your Best Life’ and may provide you a new perspective about the way you live.

I’d like to ask you a question first. Take whatever time you need to consider your answer.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the main story be?

Of course, there are tons of sub-stories, each with their own plot lines and twists and surprising endings. But, what is your main story about?

I’ll assume you’ve come up with something, even if it’s a quick answer. Now, give it a moment to sit with you, then ask yourself if it is YOUR story or the story others have told you about yourself.

When I’m in a reflective mood, I often conclude that I’m really repeating old stories I’ve been told by others or ones where I’m responding to what I think I want my story to be, but not what it is. It can be pretty confusing.

Here’s another couple of questions. Is your story mostly good or mostly bad? Has it taken the turns you want or fallen short of your expectations? And, how susceptible are you to complying with what others want your story to be?

These can be very difficult questions to sort out and work through.

The first story that came to me was, The White Knight. The protector, the fixer, the shiny one. I don’t think anyone told me this was MY story. Rather, I believe the image of the white knight and the values surrounding the image were appealing to me. I have little doubt that I built this image to make myself feel stronger and to give myself a sense of worthiness. I liked the idea of riding in and rescuing someone in distress.

I believe what happened over the course of my life was that I took bits and pieces of others stories and added them to my own. And, I listened to what others said when they talked about me and accepted what I felt fit and rejected whatever didn’t.

Although your story may be completely different, does any of that apply to your story? Do you feel that you created your story and modified it to suit a view you liked?

Or perhaps, if you are dissatisfied with your story the question becomes, did you accept too much of what others told you? Have you allowed their story of you, to become your story of you?

I know it can work this way. I’ve seen it happen in my own life, after all, White Knights do fall off their horses. And, there are also more powerful knights in the kingdom who gain favor by knocking white knights off their horses.

To me the biggest question comes when you arrive at the place where you no longer like YOUR story.

That’s where the next post continues, so please come along for the ride.

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