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The Death of Your Old Story

Every lifetime has its ups and downs, peaks and valleys, flurries of activity, lulls and stagnation; times of stillness, contemplation and regrets, gratitude and love… but ultimately, it all ends. A forest, a community, a nation or empire; a civilization, a religion, a species — all of their stories eventually come to a close. That which endures through the ages is subtlety, energy, the building blocks for what’s next, fragmented timelines, and relics of what once was.

For each of us, on the winding road toward discovery, wisdom, meaning and making sense of this singular lifetime, we are endowed with unique capabilities. We can choose to free our minds of relics, fragmentation, and stagnant energies.

Life is a collection of moments that define thematic pivots and significant plot points. You may be mourning the loss of a loved one, laying in bed after a hard day at work, or driving home in rainy weather, having just seen a thought-provoking movie. A revelation surfaces, your eyes widen, your face relaxes, and a clarity settles in to your consciousness. You’ve touched on something beautiful… and powerful.

Maybe you’ve just observed yourself complaining about the same old, mundane things, or you suddenly feel a deep sense of defeat and hopelessness in making any permanent changes in your life. Maybe you’re suddenly inspired to finally let your old story die… you’re not sure of what this feeling is, but in the silence, you notice that it takes hold and finds a growing steadiness in your body. You may actually be serious about it this time.

There is a great liberation with the death of the old self. You’ve no doubt encountered many such moments throughout your life, but they likely went unnoticed. The smallest shifts may produce the greatest lasting impact, given time. Conversely, the greatest changes may often last only a moment, then it’s back to the usual.

So, do you fear death? Why?

If there’s one thing that life here makes quite evident to us, it’s the profound, transition-enforcing period at the end of the sentence; death is our constant companion. But do we enjoy and celebrate in this transient nature of things, or do we resist, ignore, defer and look away?

The death of a story we’ve carried within us should be celebrated. This existential ability is one of our inherent superpowers. It is only our experience that we can alter, learn by and reframe at any time — regardless of circumstance or the desires of another. No one walks and talks and thinks and blinks the way we do. No one has stumbled and failed and stood up again in the ways we have. No one really knows our shame, suffering and struggles — nor do they fully comprehend or appreciate our joys. When we try to tell someone, what they’ll hear is not the same as what you said, if they’re listening at all.

Recall the last time someone shared an intimate, private story with you. Were you present, focused and open? Did their words trigger you, instigating a stream of activity in your mind? Were you impatient, anxious for them to stop talking, so you could tell them they were wrong, or how to fix it? We all have our unique influences and impressions feeding into our life’s story, but at the same time, we’re all working from the same source material. Have compassion for them, and for your self.

Who are you, and what do you really want? 

Let the rest die. You need that space for the new, now you.

Solvitur ambulando