"Tell me I have led a good life. Tell me I am a good man." James Ryan in Saving Private Ryan
Everybody has a story. Each person is a unique individual conjoined with generations past. Everyone has a storyline uniquely his own, yet with commonalities to the whole. Through stories (history) we form our identity. The quest for identity, position, purpose and significance encompasses our lifelong journey.
Children love to hear accounts of their birth or antics over and over as a way saying, “Confirm to me again who I am and that I matter”. Whether the exploits are accurate or not is not germane to its influence. They need to know that the fairy tale doesn’t change.
As life nears the end many query, as did aging James Ryan in the movie Saving Private Ryan, “Tell me I have led a good life. Tell me I’m a good man.” Confirm to me that my life has had purpose.
The irony remains that most of us know ourselves only by hearsay. Hearsay - through stories told to us about us when we were younger (forgotten or were unaware), through current communication of what others say to us about us (whether we agree, disagree or are yet unaware), or through what we presume (correctly or incorrectly) that others say or think about us.
A fish does not know he is in a cocoon of water. Likewise, we are born into a culture cocoon of sorts; neutral - neither good nor bad - they just are. They include beliefs, creeds, rules and regulations by which we order our lives. These bonds surround and define us. This is who we are, what we believe, what we stand for and what we do.
Yet we are too unique to have a cookie-cutter identity. People reorganize their stories according to how they imagine their lives should be. Do not foolishly discard your story as that would leave you open and venerable. To disavow your cocoon boundaries is to cease to exist. Yet to hold on too tight stifles and prevents growth. The cost is your true identity.
We are a composite whole with many dimensions. You are who you are while at the same time fulfilling different roles, such as child, parent, sibling, neighbor, co-worker, leader, follower, golfer or gardener. When one is primarily in any of these roles, he is still all of himself only in a combined way specific to that situation.
No matter the cocoon in which one is reared (or are still swimming), no matter the current conditions economically, politically, socially or religiously, no matter one’s race, color, or creed, internal greatness is already within you. Although there is a lot to be said for the safety, nurturing and identity of culture, we limit our growth as individuals by remaining in any group-think environment. Holding loosely to one’s story can be a blessing. In traumatic situations such as war camps, those who shed their former identity are more likely to survive with resiliency mechanisms intact.
Perhaps we are the closest to the reality of who we are when our story unravels. We become authentic. We begin to see and understand things as closely to what is and what was and what will be. Look at today’s product in light of your storyline-to-date and with open vision to undeveloped potentialities. Allow this inward outlook to nurture wisdom and goodness.
Through meditation seek to become the person you are created to be. Find your greatness. Live your personal story to the blending and inner twining of an enjoyable and meaningful life.
For success coaching, counsel or speaking engagements, contact Mona at 254-749-6594 or firstname.lastname@example.org