Now it is my turn to ask the question. Why do you tell stories? As you cannot hear the tone in my voice, please understand that this is not asked in a judgmental tone. The question isn’t one of should or shouldn’t you tell stories or are stories good or bad. This is an investigation that we can conduct together into what the story is behind your stories. There are some tales that you might just tell one time. Say for example that an interesting thing happens to you while you are out shopping. You come home and share it with your partner. You laugh or cry or scratch your heads about it together and it never comes up again. You have lots of stories like that. Something makes an impact upon you and you choose to share it with someone else. These are not the types of narrations that we are going to zero in on, though the same thought processes could be used with any tale. What we are concerned with today are the stories that you carry around with you like gems in a sack; you take one out and polish it and share it over and over with different people or perhaps just mull it over for your own entertainment. Some of them you have shared dozens of times and maybe more than once with a given individual. It may be difficult to remember who you have shared it with or how times the tale has been told. Some of these stories are about successes you have had, something you achieved, or somebody you helped. Sharing such tales may make you feel better for a while. Some of your sagas might be about victimhood, what someone did to you or some unfortunate occurrence. Perhaps they relate what a tough year you have had or even about something that you have never been able to recover from.
The first thing I would like to investigate with you is to look at the reasons why you share these stories. The purpose in this line of inquiry is to support you in being in the now, to encourage the awareness of your awakened self. So we come back to your sagas and view them from that standpoint. What is your motivation, your reason for telling your tale? I wish to begin by suggesting that you become aware of the thoughts you have around any story, as I have encouraged you to do with each thought that enters your mind – a story being just a drawn out thought. It’s a picture you have from the past that you are sharing in the now. First of all, the narration has nothing to do with the now other than the fact that you are presently thinking about it or relating it. I think we can agree that the tale is about the past, not about what is now happening. As we know, there is no such thing as the past. You cannot find a place called the past. There is only the present moment. So the story is something your mind brings forth in the present that relates to an imagined past. I say imagined, because it isn’t really there. What you are describing is not going on. When you are telling the saga about this imagined happening, you can’t even have certainty that your story matches what supposedly happened if, indeed, anything did really occur. You have your perception of this past occurrence, peppered with your projections. If another who was involved in this story was to be the teller, the “facts” would likely be quite different. This would certainly be true if the other was the so-called victimizer in your story. So, we are not talking about “truth” when we refer to these narrations. If you say to your children that you are going to tell them a story, they won’t be expecting the evening news. They expect the tale to be made up. Are any of your stories really any different from that?
Let’s say that you want to tell a story about something you think happened to you that you wish had not occurred. We’ll say that it was painful, whether physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially, or some combination. You still feel that you suffer some from what happened. What now is the motivation for sharing this tale? This is what I want to encourage you to look at. I can’t tell you what your motivation might be for sharing any particular story, but if you are unconscious of your purpose, you are unaware of what you are actually doing and what effects it may have on your present moment. As we mentioned in the last message, your actions are very important. Through the action of retelling this story you are expressing your belief in its verity. Do you want your listener to think “Oh, poor you” and give you at least a spiritual hug to ease your pain? If that is the case, you are asking for validation of your painful saga, for support for your victimhood. You are asking them for agreement that this event should not have happened. Not only are you carrying around an old story that keeps you from noticing what is in the now, but your old story is based on not accepting what happened. Instead of experiencing what is present in the now, are you choosing to fill your life with sadness and anger from a thought memory in your head?
You may not choose to have a memory come to mind, but you do choose to hold onto it and to feed it through retelling. Is there a benefit from this choice? Does the sharing of your narrative allow you to release it forever? Likely there is a tradeoff where you receive a short term relief from the listener in exchange for a longer term continuance of the pain and suffering. If you continue to tell the story it is like another drink for the alcoholic. The attention helps for a while, but the benefit wears off and you feel compelled to tell the tale again. Of course you are not limited to one story; you likely have a collection of them in your arsenal. Look at the different elements in your narration and ask yourself if you are sure that each one is true. Be honest with yourself. You have nothing to gain from trying to pull your own leg. What happens if you accept the absolute perfection of that event having occurred? If this presents a big challenge you can ask Spirit to help you accept the perfection of the now. This story is coming into your now, but why? Is this tale to be told, or is it to be released so that it no longer blocks you from being present? It is not being suggested that you pretend as if this event never happened to you, to go into denial, but what happens when you choose not to be weighed down by something that is nowhere in sight in the present moment?
Perhaps an old story that you tell repeatedly is one that was highly traumatic for you, such as experiencing violence, molestation or rape, or the death of a loved one. Part of the belief that your mind carries and society reinforces is that you not only are saddled with this event for the rest of your life, but that it is your duty to never forget. A judgment, a condemnation of the act must be expressed. Such actions are not acceptable. It is your job to ensure that the deed is never forgotten, to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The perpetrator deserves condemnation and punishment. This is what mass consciousness teaches. Now, accepting the perfection of the now isn’t a justification for an action. It is not saying that it is okay to intentionally harm another. But the truth is that it happened. Right or wrong it happened. The truth is that whatever is in the now is happening. There is nothing you can do to change any of that. Asking Spirit to help you accept the perfection of what is happening or has happened does not mean you want to be shown that it was okay for somebody to do what they did. This is about you. It is about realizing that anything that is in your now has already been accepted into existence. Not accepting it is a denial that it has already happened. It is not changeable. Any attempt to accomplish that is a fool’s task, one at which you cannot succeed. Notice your pain; notice your emotions; return to the present and see what is there now. Pain and suffering are not constants. Everything moves and changes. Let it; watch it. The past is unchangeable. The future does not exist. There is just now. Do your best to focus here. This requires enormous will, but no understanding. It asks only that you persist in staying present, while noticing when you aren’t able to. Your job is not to understand. That is a gift that may or may not be brought into your now, but it is never the goal. There is no goal, only focus. Free will is not a matter of being able to choose what will happen; it is the ability to choose your reaction. Fighting what is or what has happened will lead to a life of pain and suffering, to war within you and with the world.
I want to remind you that every person out there, no matter how hurtful their actions might appear to be, is a Child of God, trying the best they can to find love, to find their way home, to find God. Like you they may not always be making the best choices in order to accomplish that, but they will always have the option to learn from the choices they make. Nobody will ever find the love that is the truth within them if their mind is consumed with victimhood.
The idea may be formulating now in your mind that telling stories might not be a wise course to choose to follow. However, it is always a good idea to look at why a story wants to be told. Perhaps you are listening to another tell their sad or angry story. That brings to your memory a similar type of story that you might have once told, but now you accept the perfection of what occurred and may feel a deep sense of gratitude for what happened. You are aware of how that event helped you to let go of a whole layer of victimhood and you feel freed by that acceptance. You might feel guided to share your story and what you have done with it. Rather than suggesting to them what they could do with their story or lecturing them on how it hurts them – usually not the best choice in any situation – you just talk about you. Maybe you tell your story in such a humorous manner that people laugh at it and that brings you enjoyment, because you have not elicited pity but have brought lightness to the whole situation. You may need to be able to laugh at yourself. Laughter helps to center people in the now. Stories can provide an absolutely beautiful, divine service. Jesus conducted much of his teaching through stories or parables. They can bypass the ego defense structures people have in place to fend off challenging ideas. Sometimes I “out” Michael by sharing some of his personal stories when I am talking with groups. He is hesitant to do this himself, not wishing to appear arrogant or superior. He gets to observe – whether it is a story about a time he fell flat on his face but learned much, or a situation when he acted in the way I was suggesting he go, despite great fear – that others can benefit and gain courage and inspiration from hearing them. Stories can help move people off the pedestal where you may have placed them. Such tales remind you of what you hold in common with them. They can show possibility.
Again, ask yourself why you want to tell a story. It might prove helpful to go on a story diet, severely limiting the number you share. Instead, spend that energy investigating the stories, checking to see if holding on to them is keeping you out of experiencing the now, looking to see what untruths may be promulgated through them. Always look at the motive behind your wish to share a tale. As a story comes to mind, remember to notice if you have told it before. Be brutally honest with yourself about why the story bears repeat telling. The ego can be very convincing in encouraging you to share a story because it would be “good” for someone else to hear it, when the actual purpose is to get stroked for how evolved you are. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little attention, but it is helpful if you are upfront with yourself about your motives. When in doubt, you might wait until the story seems to be dragged out of you. Do you find yourself being in a competitive situation with others, wanting to get your story in? Try being a good listener, perhaps asking them questions. Is there something there for you in another’s story? Do you find yourself in judgment of what you are hearing? What are you projecting onto the other person? Realizing that will likely benefit you more than having your fifteen seconds of glory from telling your own tale. If you truly listen and find common ground with another, there may open up a space for you to offer true support. Be compassionate with others with their stories as you are hopefully gentle with yourself and your old sagas. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.