The Story of Life

I had it deeply ingrained in me from a young age to always be honest.  I took this very, very seriously.  Too seriously.  Like to my detriment.

There was a movie I watched a few years ago called, “The Invention of Lying”.  It was about a world that looked very much like ours, except that people were incapable of lying.  It was some inconceivable, abstract thought that had never been thought up.

I was excited about seeing the movie because I had always wished for a world with absolute honesty.  I was even feeling pretty smug about getting to see how right I was about how much better the world was before lying was invented.

But it was horrible.  I was so focused on thinking that lying was the reason everything was such a mess, that I completely missed what “lying” adds to our lives.

In that world, there were only documentaries on factual things.  There was no imagination . . . no creativity.  There was no such thing as storytelling.

And intrinsically, within me, lives a storyteller.  I love embellishing and feeling into things.  I like to imagine how things might be or feel in different situations.  I like to try things out and see how they feel, and then take them off and try on something else.

This is how children learn.  They mimic.  They may pretend they are a serious woman standing in line, and do all of the body movements and facial expressions exactly like her, just to feel what it’s like to be that woman for a moment in time.  They may find that they like it, they may find that they did not like it.  But that’s how we learn about ourselves and our environment.

I have continually had an inner struggle between being me . . . and being “honest”.  But honesty is such a slippery, abstract concept.  It leads into philosophical debates that could go on forever, that involve reality, wormholes, and bunny slippers.

But today, when walking downtown, I looked around at all of the people walking by.  I watched the cars and buses stopping and going.  I kept thinking, “The Story of Life.”  All of those people have a story they tell about themselves.  That they tell about others.  We all play pretend about who we are.  We even say, “That will be a great story to tell your grandchildren when you’re older!”

Everything *here* is a story we are all telling.  We NEED stories.  We love a good story.  Stories hold value whether they are true or not.  They let us try on different feelings and ways of being to see how it suits us.  It’s a way of learning.  It’s a way of being.

If I had to name a single sign in the zodiac that represented the “storyteller”, it would be Gemini.  Well, actually the whole Gemini/Sagittarius axis.  The individual stories of pretend, and the world’s (or universe’s) stories of pretend . . . sorry I mean truth.  : )

In my natal chart, I have a sun sign of Gemini.  Conjunct (same place, or together with) my sun is Jupiter.  Jupiter expands whatever it touches.  So, I’m not just a simple, small Gemini storyteller. . . I’m a HUGE liar storyteller.  Directly in opposition (180 degrees away – the opposite side of my chart) is my moon conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius.  The moon is our emotions, our past, how we are comforted and nurtured.  Neptune is our connection to Spirit/Divinity, other worlds, imagination, the dreamtime.  Those are 4 heavy hitters all in strong/tight contact with each other in my chart . . . and not a one of them is about being realistic or grounded in the “real world” as we’ve known it.

So this unhealthy obsession I have with honesty goes against my very nature, and while I insist on it to this level, I am unable to accept who I am inside.  I NEED to be able to tell things in wild story form.  There is truth within those stories.  I NEED to be emotionally dramatic.  I need to be able to change my story from day to day, because things are always changing.  Thinking that things are stable and consistent forever and ever IS the illusion.  That’s the story we tell ourselves everyday that we currently believe, even though it’s not (and never has been) true.

I’m able to switch and change between stories so easily, because I’m not attached to them.  I don’t need for them to be true.  I know that they are stories and that really, none of this is true.  It’s all pretend.  We’ve all agreed that it’s real, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.  (See. Trying to define honesty becomes a slippery slope, my friends.)  We’re all just really good at pretending things that aren’t true.

However, just because I’m not attached to my stories, I think it’s important to point out that it doesn’t mean I don’t care deeply.  Because I do.  I care deeply about the soul and person inside.  Because I’m not attached to the stories, I can see past them and to the person at the core.  That is where my focus is when I see and feel people.

It’s not just that though.  I hide the “Me” that I am inside, too.  I have almost never, ever let her be seen by another person.  I felt that part of me trying to surface yesterday morning, but I felt my muscles around my mid-section constrict to prevent it from happening.  Keeping me from fully relaxing and being at peace within myself.

When I felt into that tightness within me, I realized that it’s me trying to prevent the real Me from surfacing and being seen by anyone else.  I can’t even let myself out when I’m alone.  So I tried to gently feel into it, trying not to scare it away.  I asked why it was so scared to come out, and I asked what it meant to be Me.  And this is what I found out . . .

“I am afraid to be Me.  I feel really big inside.  I care.  I try to pretend like I don’t care, but I do.  I care about other people so much, that it makes me angry.  And ashamed.  I am completely ashamed of how sensitive I am, and how much I care about people and the world around me.  I feel thoroughly embarrassed about it.  I don’t want anyone to ever, EVER see how much I care.  It makes me feel weak.”

People affect me profoundly and deeply.  When I’m not at my keyboard . . . when I’m alone with myself . . . is when I try to process and move through all of the things that affected me so greatly during the day.  When there is a misunderstanding or a fight with someone or  a friend (yes, even with you, Janaki) . . . I cry for days trying to get through it.  It is utterly humiliating to me how much each person affects me.  I hate it.

I put up a strong defense, because I don’t know how else to protect myself.  Because I don’t know how to handle being like that in front of another person.  I see how people react and respond to people who are emotional and sensitive, and there’s no way I want to expose myself to that.  I have not found a model yet, of someone who has found a way to stand strong in their sensitivity and own it.  All I see, are sensitive, caring people closing themselves off from their feelings . . . and telling themselves they have a “thicker skin”.

I don’t know how, but I’m going to figure out a way.  I’m going to figure out how to fully be that sensitive, caring person . . . but to let it empower me . . . strengthen me . . . instead of feeling weak and diminished by it.  And just thinking about how much strength that is going to take, I can better see how being that way in a world gone mad . . . is a far cry from being a weakness.  To have the courage and strength to still feel strongly, to still care deeply about others, and to be able to show that you still care . . . is very brave.

I am very afraid to do this.  Terrified, even.  But it’s reached a point where it takes more effort to try and squelch or hide it, than it takes to just be it.

And that’s my story.  That I take way too seriously.  : D

Super Serious Stuff

Gir contemplating his life story

Comments

  1. “I’m going to figure out how to fully be that sensitive, caring person . . . but to let it empower me . . . strengthen me . . . instead of feeling weak and diminished by it. And just thinking about how much strength that is going to take, I can better see how being that way in a world gone mad . . . is a far cry from being a weakness. To have the courage and strength to still feel strongly, to still care deeply about others, and to be able to show that you still care . . . is very brave.”

    I so admire (and adore : ) you for this…And yes, it’s like we’re living in Opposite Groundhog Day, when openly and deeply caring is seen as weak. It takes *real* strength, in a world where it’s normal, and almost a twisted source of pride, to not show any tears (not realizing this energy dynamic *will* somehow play out in your life, willing or not). Where ‘caring’ has become entangled with ‘scrambling to find a solution and fixing’.

    “If you can’t fix it, why care?”… People are afraid to care because things have become so unfixable, at least how most of them currently understand the world and live their lives. But things are so out of whack, that people start losing their minds….you can only repress for so long. And it takes some brave souls (misfits : ) who’ve come into this world to act out this collective repression. To poke at our hearts…and that takes tremendous strength (even with your bunny slippers on).

    We’ve come at a time where the build up pressure has become unsustainable. And it will come out ‘good, bad and ugly’, depending on your perspective. It’s unstoppable…thank god.

    You’re a Brave New Girl ❤

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  2. I am with you in this. I use to hate my sensitivity and see it as a defect. Now I do love and embrace it, slowly peeling back the weight of protection, allowing the tender me to peek out. No wonder we shut down given the number of times our compassion has been mowed over. Time to jumped out with our nakedness. Thanks for leading the way.

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  3. Its the best way to be! Feeling life so intensely is precious. Not that its always in a hyper way of seeing, experiencing and being. But without it. for me that is like being dead. That is awful. I experienced that one night. Like not caring, not feeling. it felt like ice cold, hard. it was realy awful. I also know when i was younger, someone said to me to toughen up. To not be so sensitive. And I remember saying to him. No, I will not toughen up. This is me. I did try it ones to armor me. But that felt really foreign to me. I am a feeler and i am loving it. ❤

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