As a writer and lover of books, I can wholeheartedly vouch for the power of a good story line, a kernel of an idea, an essential moral expanded by way of characters, situations, places and turning points. Don't judge a book by it's cover. Don't judge a life by the stories people tell around it. Gossip is a virus that turns the tides away from truth and health. And each of us has the power to remain free of the virus, to control the agreements we unconsciously or consciously make with ideas, with convenient stories. Keeping our power of discrimination to keep the mind and spirit free of hurtful, downgrading stories; how crucial to fulfillment.
Stories, like photographs and paintings, are snapshots, images which convey feeling as filtered by each viewer. Feeling is fleeting. The snapshot does not encompass what was going on behind the scenes, what was going on inside. And to me, what's important, crucial, to a true experience (which in turn serves as rich fodder for a true story: read: one that inspires a greater good in action) is the integrity of the characters behind it.
A story is an image in words. When addressing the "story of your life", what is more important to you? The way a story looks and sounds, or how you felt while it was being written? Living skin vs. shiny leather boots? How can we value vanity: the end product, the image; especially when it comes from a source of hurt and imbalance? Why is choosing peace and sourcing insights from that place less satisfying, and when you do choose it, seemingly more difficult? How can we work to reverse the limitations society has imposed upon our frames of thought, our ability to value and choose what is truly liberating; from a place of openness, vulnerability without victims, trust without ulterior motives and community support without tearing others down when they don't fit the mold?
Legends come in many shapes. The stories tell many ways. But how did you live it in the now? Stories can be embellished, will be read through the eyes of the reader, not those of the writer. We all have filters, shaped by our own lives, experiences, beliefs, perceptions. Conversely, you cannot read your life through anyone else's lens. And we know that. Yet we still stifle our voices in an effort to be 'perfect'. Or well liked. Or to keep the shareholders happy. Or to keep the waves of profit flowing in the direction of someone who exercises control through fear or abuse of power. Keep your power. See your power.
You cannot judge your life as inspiring or not with any sort of accuracy unless you yourself were inspired while living. If you're living to write a story, then what are you doing now? Writing or living? The ego likes the way it sounds. The story arch: the picture of struggle, success, power and control over the self. But true happiness doesn't care; as long as it's authentic. If you filter your happiness through the ego, it will always fluctuate with what you are or are not getting, with the silent checks and balances being accounted for from a place of emptiness, lack, or fear. It is up to each of us to realize we start with, and always have, everything we need, that we each have the ultimate control behind that force; behind any external force be it government, peer groups, religion, your closest relatives, your ego self. It starts with you. One small step for your self, one big step for everyone else.
Clear the fog. Stories aren't real. But your life can be.