The Story We’re Writing

For a minute, think of the things you do every day.

Eat a hard boiled egg? Scan through email? Shower, talk weather, traffic, news? Get outside with the dog? Think about money or health?

Good. Now, there’s this other thing each of us does – and it’s subtle, normal to overlook: Every day, we are writing the story of ourselves.

Today, as we did yesterday, last July, 13 years and 21 days ago, we add a few lines to the narrative of who we are and who we are becoming. Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön puts it this way: “We create ourselves and our future with every thought and action.”

And this happens whether we do it intentionally or not. So why not cast our lot with those who are intentional about it?

An approach that’s been helpful to me is this: being aware enough to choose the thoughts and actions that are life-affirming. That move us in the direction not of who we think we should be, but of who we are.

It’s a process, not an event. We lose awareness, drop the pen, forget the writing. That’s part of our story. We are human, after all.

But we humans can pick up the pen, restart the writing, at any point of any day. And I believe the more we do this, the greater the likelihood that we can look over our week, our year, our time, and say with tenderness and truth, Yes, this is my story.

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