We all have a story that we use to describe ourselves to ourselves and to each other. If you know my story you know me, right?
You already know my name. If I tell you that I was born in Booleroo Centre, a small town in, what the locals call, the mid-north of South Australia, and spent the first three years of this lifetime living, with my parents and their expanding family, in the school house of a tiny rural hamlet on the edge of the Flinders Ranges, does that tell you anything about who I am?
You can probably come up with a few words that you think describe me; for example, Australian, son of a school teacher, country boy. At times I think of myself as being those things, but am I? Aren’t they just labels that describe experiences or circumstances or relationships?
Consider this. If you watch Leonardo DiCaprio performing as Gatsby or Hoover or whoever, do you know anything about Leonardo at the end of the performance? What you saw was the presentation of a story with someone playing the role of the main character in the story. Someone who didn’t write the script and followed someone else’s directions. Sound anything like your life?
If your story doesn’t really describe who you are, what does it do? It gives you a persona or a role to play in this lifetime, and it gives you a source of questions most of us don’t think to ask. Maybe we don’t want to know the answers.
Why did I choose those particular parents?
Why did I choose to be born in that place within the socio-economic circumstances of those times?
Why parents with that particular set of religious or political beliefs?
Why did I choose to be on the planet now?
Why did I choose this set of circumstances?
Why have I chosen the experiences I refer to as my story or my life?
I invite you to explore these questions and any others that come into focus while you’re pondering them.