The Story of Our Journey, Part One

How could I not be grateful to the whole of my life?
Nietzsche

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I got to be the person I am today. Even my dullish life has included a few adventures, some tragedies, and some joys—all of which have shaped the current Michelle.

trees-treebeard-590x350

Treebeard:

…I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.

“…I do not know what the word is in the outside languages [for] the thing we are on, where I stand and look out on fine mornings, and think about the Sun, and the grass beyond the wood, and the horses, and the clouds, and the unfolding of the world.”

“…Hill?” suggested Pippin. “Shelf? Step?” suggested Merry.

Treebeard repeated the worlds thoughtfully. “Hill. Yes, that was it. But it is a hasty word for a thing that has stood here ever since this part of the world was shaped.” (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien)

When I think about my journey through life, my story more easily, more quickly bogs down on the struggles than happy memories—and that in itself is going to influence how I now feel about myself.

Besides standard role names like parent and child, sister and friend, poet and painter, I might also latch onto spiritual and sweet-tempered. Or caring Cancer, Chinese dragon, psychic empath. But more often echoes coming out of the past evoke short and shy. Note-taker and nerd. Raped and robbed. Passive pooh.

Not too encouraging, huh? How I define my past self continually affects my present self-image! What if, instead, I consider my triumphs and treasures, like appearing in Chicken Soup or having a fortune of friends? What about new names, like “strong woman?” “Spiritual power?” “Beneficial presence?”

How cool that just a slight change in characterization helps me feel empowered.

I hope you stop and notice how you are thinking about yourself this week, and how your focus on your whole storyline strengthens or weakens your Self-in-the-present.

blessing you, My Friend,
with love,
chelle

8 thoughts on “The Story of Our Journey, Part One

  1. If I had time to reflect I surely realize I am strong, strong, strong. I am a compassionate, caring, loving martyr. I spoke this word to me son just the other day. He said, “A martyr is the one who dies a hero.” I suspect he got that out of one of his games. But his words sure made me think that the struggles have had purpose, so I just keep doin what I’m doin. Thanks for the depth once again my friend.

  2. Michelle i know i haven’t told you enough how much you have made me the person i am today. Your support and ever loving kindness to Nick has and means the world to me. No matter how frustrating the day may have been I could call you and only you to help me. So to me You are one of my Angels. I love you forever and ever.

    1. You echo my own feeling for you, Sharol—you are one of my heroes: smart, strong, loving, capable, never giving up. YOU have helped me when I wanted to give up. Shall we be angels together?

      all my love,
      michelle

  3. What a charming post, Chelle! I love the Tree Guy and the thought that hill is such a short word for something that’s been around for so long. Also, it’s a good question: how we become who/what we are. All thought provoking; all interesting. Thanks! :)

    1. Perhaps we need to read the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy together! (That’s where we meet Treebeard, who is a very old inhabitant of Middle Earth, very wise.)

  4. Dear Michelle–

    So true! I have a litany of abusive terms for myself, but often struggle simply to affirm and praise. As a wise friend of mine once taught me: “Free your mind, and your ass will follow.” I’m slowly learning to free my mind from those negative, conditioned thought patterns–and my ass is so much happier because of it! Thanks for reminding me.

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