Twenty-five years ago, I was living in Vancouver Washington during a snowstorm. Due to an emergency, and against the advice of my wife and friends, I made a desperate attempt to drive to California. I got about ten miles down an icy, snow-blinded freeway when a gust of wind hit me, and my car broke traction with the road, and I slewed in a 270 before coming to a stop. Behind me, coming right at me, was an eighteen wheeler with its brakes locked up. I was looking directly at my death, and there was nothing I could do. By a miracle of physics, the truck came to a stop about three feet from my window. I took the blessing, and realized that there was no way in hell I could make it south across the mountains and into California. Broken-hearted, I managed to get my car off the southbound freeway, onto the northbound, and crept back home with my tail between my legs.
Yesterday, I was glad that happened.
What is the value of LIFEWRITING? Perhaps the greatest is understanding that you have to control your narrative, the story of your life, consciously. If you don’t, your own negative tendencies and the voices of everyone who ever thought poorly of you, as well as any salesman or political hack will try to tell you YOUR story to THEIR advantage. And because we respond more to emotion than to logic, if you accept their narrative, you are screwed. And that acceptance takes place on an unconscious or emotional level, so your logical weapons and tactics are often useless.
For instance, I cannot make a political statement on FB without politicized people parachuting in to attack. Invariably, they do NOT understand the story I’m following, so they attack what they THINK I’m saying. I call this “swarming” and the intent is to tag-team you into exhaustion. They can’t do it to me, because they never understood my position to begin with: its almost funny to watch.
The same thing that I was speaking of a couple of days ago: people who try to insult me by attacking my shadow. They don’t realize I’m not there, because they think they know me, and don’t. Frankly, if they did, they wouldn’t attack, because I mean them no harm, and the only reason to attack is if you think it is a defense…unless you are simply a predator looking for lunch.
I’m ready for that, too. Those, I simply invite to expose their teeth so everyone can see. I have tribe, you see. I’m not out here alone.
When I taught that class at UCLA and realized that the instant a student consciously used the Hero’s Journey to frame his life, he created his own answers, I saw that the story of humanity is the story of the universe (at least for a billionth of a second after the Big Bang): increasing connection, complexity, and evolution. Growth. Combining this with the oldest psychological model in the world, the Chakra system, it becomes even clearer that we are set with a series of challenges in life, and when we resolve them, we rise to the next level and a new set of challenges that open the doors to the next level of our evolution. And this process continues all our lives.
These two things: the Hero’s Journey and the Chakras, are the most essential pieces of LIFEWRITING, and when you understand them, you can glimpse the entire structure of reality and consciousness. When you use them in your life, you are controlling your story. When you use them in communication, with love, you are sending a ripple of Truth out into the universe, and have aligned yourself with the power that has driven reality for seven billion years. I like that. I’ll take that wind, that current. If you are also aligned with love, and believe in human equality, you give haters literally nothing to attack you with. Even if they can prove some tiny chunk of it all incorrect THEY’RE DOING YOU A FAVOR. They cannot win, unless you BOTH win.
But they can lose, alone.
Attacks are defenses. Anger is fear.
ANY time someone attacks me, I ask “what are they afraid of?” It is rarely about me. I’m not important enough. It might be the implication of something I’m saying, however. The trick to never being hurt by the attacks is having FAITH that love, truth, and equality are the realities that pierce the Matrix of illusion.
There are those who fear that if they are happy and loving, they will accomplish nothing. That humans would become lotus-eaters, dreaming away their lives. Inequality powers human life, just as unequal distribution of matter and energy drove the creation of stars and planets. If it had all been a completely consistent “soup” gravity would have had nothing to grab onto, and nothing would ever have happened.
But don’t worry–there isn’t enough love to completely vanquish all the fear in the universe. There will always be frightened, angry people.
The idea that you might have to fear love is pretty damned toxic. Brrrr. Only the monsters could consciously promote such an evil notion. They WANT you to fear the only thing that can save you.
So… time for a specific example of the critical need to control your internal story, and how doing that sets you free. Would that be all right? Is the context set? Are we ready?
I thought so. Ready or not, here it comes.
Some months ago, the child of an old friend asked to become my FB friend. Although this person’s own family warned me they were a liar and a thief, I knew they’d had a hard life. This person’s father died when they were a child. Their mother not long after. I accepted them. They pretty quickly became a political and religious troll, brimming with conspiracy theories and mistaking ignorance for wisdom, ignoring the knowledge of people with actual educations in a given subject and preferring Youtube videos as sources of information. It was sad to watch, and I tried many times to help them, in memory of my old friend, who I loved.
I even helped this person to raise money for their family. Offered to PAY them to read a wonderful success book and write a simple report on it, so that I’d know they actually read it. On multiple occasions, they became insulting, and I knew they were simply pushing against me trying to test, seeking something to push back against. In their own way they were asking “what is true? Who am I?” in ways they could not ask directly.
This person made an absurd claim, one that was easy to disprove. When they refused to acknowledge the documented facts, I finally, reluctantly concluded that truth was not something we could agree upon, and that I had to take the position that this person could not be trusted. It was sad. I let them stay on my page until they roared back with more conspiracy theories, and I told them, frankly, that because they were not willing to admit when they were wrong, I could not trust them to present information or interpretations: if you can’t be wrong, I’m not willing to believe you’re right, especially if your data and information conflicts with people I KNOW are smarter and better educated than either of us. Sorry.
They responded with insult. I responded by requesting courtesy, or saying, as I do, that without such courtesy, they would not be allowed to post on my page.
And they blew up. Accused me of being a hypocrite and a fraud. And then pulled out the Big Guns: that I had been a bad friend to their father. That on his deathbed, this person’s father had cursed me that I’d not been there for him in his last days.
And blocked me.
Wow. Let’s take that apart.
- Every attack is a defense. Anger is fear. What were they afraid of? Everything. They have failed at most things in their life, but certain that they know how everything works. Why, how, if they’re so smart, could they have so little success to show for their efforts? The world is against them and all decent people, defined as those who agree with them, of course. But on another level, I think that people always know what is really true. This is core conflict, generating fear and anger.
- “What is true? Who am I?” is the question we all ask. By reaching out to me, they were searching for a father figure, someone who would help them understand their world and self. All they, all ANYONE really wants is to be happy, to love. But there is a world of pain and abandonment between that chewy center and the external tough, smart badass, hyper-confident ego shell. Threaten it…or even worse, say “either play by the House rules or you’ll be rejected” and you trigger massive fear. Mom and Dad rejected them by withdrawal and early death. The new quasi-daddy figure was about to do the same. The recourse is to Attack!, reject before you can be rejected. And their chosen attack was a brilliant attempt.
- Wow. Their father, my very oldest friend, cursed me on his deathbed? That’s the kind of thing that scrambles your head and heart. Bravo. Except for two things…
- One, was my mother. I watched her die, and watched her personality dissolve as she did. She vomited up all her fear and pain, and struck out against the world…and her son and daughter…with every arrow in her quiver, including terrible things, horrible things that would have stung, had I not done all I could to be there for her. I’d not been a perfect son, by any means, but I loved her, and she loved me, and I knew that, no matter what she said now with the cancer turning her wonderful mind into gruel. I took it no more personally than if she’d vomited on my shoes. Oh. Vomit. That’s interesting. Better clean that up. Nothing personal.
So…when this person said that their father cursed me, I knew that even if it was true, it was the kind of thing that a diseased mind and a fearful heart might say. “Where is his friend? Where is Steve to hold my hand in these last moments of life?” Existential angst. Sigh. But I knew I loved him, and that he loved me, and that he knew I loved him, and that even if he said it, it was from the depths of a monster’s belly, the ultimate fear consuming him in the last moments of his life. If he said such a thing, he was not having a good death, and I grieve. I wish I’d been there.
The child of my friend tried to attack me with a narrative: I had been a faithless friend. But what was true? What was true is that I was a thousand miles away, trapped in a snowstorm, and almost died trying to drive down to see him a final time. And when I stared at that eighteen-wheeler plummeting toward me, what I thought was my final thought in this world was: “I tried, old friend.” I tried. I didn’t think of my own death, or even my family, but instead pled to my friend’s spirit to understand that I’d done the best I could, and failed, and I was sorry.
That was the story. My story. MY STORY. The child of my friend could not assail it. And from my fortress of truth I could see their pain, and fear, and abandonment, and I heard that same voice in my head: “I tried, old friend. I tried to help your child.”
I failed. It happens. But all we can do is the best we can do.
Life is hard for everyone. But the frightened and the predators will try to control your story to their benefit. THIS is the value of learning to apply storytelling to your life, and your life to your stories.
Those who do not align with the universal order cannot find you, cannot attack you. They thrash at shadows while imagining that they are landing mortal blows. It is sad. Tragic, even.
I tried, dammit.
Learn to control your stories, whether you tell them to others, or to yourself. It may save your heart, or the heart of someone you love. www.lifewrite.com