Creating a New Story
Last week we talked about the freedom of co-creation (you can read that blog entry here). Picking up where we left off – this week I want to talk about the capacity we have t write a new story (you can access video of the sermon here).
Story is the most powerful creative tool we have. Our society honors great story tellers, whether in novel form, Cinema, Broadway or television. We consider those who have mastered the craft to be the most talented and creative among us. And if you are like me, you likely have a story that you tell yourself that you are not THAT creative or talented. But the fact is, you are using the power of story all the time. In fact, the story that you have about how creative you are – or are not – is in fact just that – a story. A creative by product of your minds imagination.
Our world is made up of stories, creative and brave ones, and tragic and sad ones. The question I have is, if we are using the power of story all of the time then when are we always creating the same story over and over again? Why do we repeat so many old tired patterns that no longer serve us?
I have found that stories repeat themselves because they contain lessons in them and until the lessons are absorbed and integrated (until we learn what we need to learn) the story will repeat itself until we do. Joseph Campbell in the Power of Myth uncovers the powerful pattern of ancient stories, patterns that reveal the universal nature of what it means to be human on a spiritual quest. Questions, patterns and archetypes all repeat themselves throughout human history because – ultimately we are all one – and despite our vast cultural differences, there remains a universal patterns to our quest, our needs and our longings.
Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, says that
“The Divine Plan is one of Freedom; bondage is not God-ordained. Freedom is the birthright of every living soul. All instinctively feel this. The Truth points to freedom, under Law. Thus the inherent nature of man is forever seeking to express itself in terms of freedom. We do well to listen to this Inner Voice, for it tells us of a life wonderful in its scope; of a love beyond our fondest dreams; of a freedom which the soul craves.”
We need a new story:
When the headlines of the daily news repeat the same tired and sad news, its time for a new story.
When we hear of yet another mass shooting by a lone white male who was lonely, angry and disenfranchised, its time for a new story.
When another innocent young black male is targeted and victimized for a crime he did not commit or worse, losses his life at the hands of biased and fear-triggered police response, its time for a new story.
When we throw away more usable food everyday and children go hungry in our own towns and communities, its time for a new story.
Evangelical author Brian D. McLaren speaks about the power of our framing story – i.e. how story has the power to frame our experience collectively in his book, Everything Must Change.
How do you and I begin to write new and powerful stories that help shape a new world that works for everyone?
I believe that our stories are shaped by three primary things:
- 1. The Journey with our Wound(s)
- 2. The conditioning of our Mind
- 3. Desire of our heart
The journey with our wound is about how we have addressed, healed and processed whatever form of trauma, wounding or perceived challenges we have experienced in our lives. None of us escape this world experience without some form of wounding, the question is what do you do about it? You have the power to use the story of your wound to hold you back, limit you and excuse you from your greater good. Or you can choose to use your wound to propel you into success, refine your character.
Next is the conditioning of our mind – Our minds are designed for conditioning – the question is what condition is it in? We can recondition our minds to accept greater good in our lives via the powerful tools of affirmations, meditation, affirmative prayer and the like.
Finally, the desire of our heart. Aligning with the desire of your heart is a powerful life force that propels you into greater experiences – because your heart always desires your highest good. Your hearts desire however, ought not be confused with your ego and selfish desires of material gain. Your hearts desire will always require personal and spiritual growth and is always more about becoming that getting.
Next week we’ll discuss how to Life in Choice as a spiritual practice. Until then, be well my friends.
– Rev. Dr. David Alexander