This week, I am more grateful for STORY and every damn EPIC I have ever read and watched in this lifetime.
As I glance at news coverage and see the Facebook feeds, my gut response is to feel…well, a number of feelings, actually: heartbrokenness, rage, powerlessness, despair.
And my thoughts resemble the ones I see posted by friends and colleagues:
How can this be happening in 2017? Will it ever get better?
And then I hear the voice of one of many heroes
facing one of those final moments…
You know the ones I’m talking about…
- They are suddenly alone because friends and mentors have fallen in battle.
- They are assessing their resources and shaking their heads.
- They are looking at the last leg of the journey, knowing that they will have to navigate it and then face the final villain or task alone, and then hope that somehow…shit hasn’t gone so wrong that it can’t be fixed…and this wasn’t all for nothing.
- They feel scared and powerless, and uncertain of the end, and they hesitate…
Harry hesitates at the edge of the forest,
where he will lay down his life.
Luke hesitates before the final face off with his father.
Ang (Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon) hesitates before his last battle,
wondering how he can stop the Fire Lord without killing him.
Jesus hesitates in the Garden, asking if there is any other way
but the intense suffering that awaits him.
It’s that moment when the character wonders: “What the hell am I doing? And for what? Am I even going to be able to finish the job?”
Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.
As I look at the world stage, and the Collective Story that is unfolding, I am grateful for these stories and the leaders who are out there talking about the importance of them.
I’ve been steeped in everything Jordan Peterson, a psychotherapist | college professor who blows my mind with his comprehensive approach to story, meaning, and psychology; and I saw Brene Brown’s video yesterday about facing our collective story.
They are all saying essentially the same thing, and I wanted to pass the essence of it along, with a little extra Amanda in it:
It’s always darkest before the dawn.
This is the moment.
AND IT IS STILL OUR CHOICE.
We can either let the appearance of things paralyze us and watch the darkness win,
OR we can remember that this is NOT a new story,
AND THAT IT IS UP TO US TO BRING THE LIGHT.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We have fought this darkness before.
We have won several of the battles.
This is NOT evidence of regression;
This is what the final frontier looks like.
We’ve addressed these issues from the outside-in,
starting with legislation and social action;
And we have successfully pushed our personal and
collective identities to the point of no return.
The last frontier is the inner one.
Don’t be deceived.
The monsters are not just “out there,” hurting others with physical weapons.
The monsters are “in here,” hurting others with our silence or,
worse, our mindless words and actions.
The monsters are not “out there,” chanting words of hate.
The monsters are “in here,” keeping us focused on choosing a side
while keeping our eyes off the real path to peace…
The inner path.
The one of personal responsibility.
The one where we start each day, connecting to THE LIGHT
and then blessing the world with it.
The one where we stay vigilant over our thoughts, and test their truth.
The one where we stay mindful of our words, and wrap our truth in love.
The one where we stay committed to remembering that LOVE made us all;
and we are made for LOVE.
This is NOT a call to pacifism.
This is a call to the LIGHT.
And it starts with us.
I don’t know if you’re experiencing it too, but the Collective is mirroring my Individual Story.
It seems that all the work we have done to bring the LIGHT thus far is starting to make it impossible for the subtle, insidious darkness to find dark corners and hide.
I’ve been on the healing journey for 10 years now,
and there are these 2 places I have been avoiding.
I’ll work on THIS stuff right now, and I’ll get to THAT later.
Well, IT’S LATER.
And the jig is up.
No more hiding.
No more putting off.
No more compartmentalizing.
No more excuses.
No more blame.
No more distractions.
Oh no, this shit has to be dealt with now.
Our individual and collective stories depend on it.
Grab whatever you have and join me.
Shovels are better than teaspoons.
Plows are better than shovels.
Just pick something up and start moving this stuff out of the way,
Cuz the message of the ages is:
THE LIGHT ALWAYS WINS WHEN WE LET IT IN.
Think it’s a coincidence that we have a Solar Eclipse happening on Monday?
Let the light in and then push it out to the world around you.