Story Eater

Philadelphia Story

Stories are the way we navigate our world, our chance to make sense of who we are and what we do. -Seth Godin

I like TV shows. I love to get into a good story and the very best ones you can get so lost in them, you forget they aren’t real. I’ve watched so many that it’s hard to remember them all. Some are still going strong, some have ended whether gracefully or not. Doctor Who, 24, Lost, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, just to name a few. I’m not sure what captures my attention. It’s not all in the suspense. It’s not all in the realism. It’s really not in the looks or sex appeal of the actors. I’ve watched shows that didn’t cast the best looking, but by a few weeks into them you adored the character and the actor. There’s usually an emotional tug of war. You can feel their struggle, either with their own temptations or their failures. Sometimes they are weak, but yet there’s some part of them you relate to. All I know is they have sucked me into their drama.

I sometimes wonder if this life is like that. If there is an afterlife, maybe we will look back and say, that was a damn good story. It might be like walking out of the movie theater after an intense show. Everything else seems a bit unreal and you just want to run back in and watch the movie again. Yeah I can imagine that.

What do you want your story to say? What emotional flavor is it? Happy? Charming? Cozy? Horror? Eek. That one’s not for me. I have mine pictured in my head. Lots of golden lighting. I update it now and then. I see the person I want to be as I grow older and how I want to live my life. With a name like, Wisdom and Grace. Or Sunlight on Raindrops.

Here is an interesting look at charity as it relates to stories:

What do we get when we give to a good cause?

Why on earth would a rational person give money to charity–particularly a charity that supports strangers? What do they get?

A story.

In fact, every time someone donates to a good cause, they’re buying a story, a story that’s worth more than the amount they donated.

It might be the story of doing the right thing, or fitting in, or pleasing a friend or honoring a memory, but the story has value. It might be the story that you, and you alone are able to make this difference, or perhaps it’s the story of using leverage to change the world. For many, it’s the story of what it means to be part of a community. – Seth Godin

Seth’s  full blog is available if you follow the above link. Thanks for stopping by and being a part of my story..

Seeing the Unseen

How do you see something you can’t see? We gather information to find truth or to prove our point, but sometimes we want to learn something new. Our brain sorts through all the input from our senses and decides what is useful and what isn’t. It even has the ability to fill in the gaps to complete a picture. How do learn a new truth when our brain is picking and choosing the information for us? Your Hidden Censor – Scientific American

In the physical world, astronomers have the same problem. For years they relied on telescopes and light that was visible to their eyes. Instead of using visual light and eyesight, they needed to use other methods. Regarding the discovery of the now termed Dark Energy or Dark Matter,

How do you see something that is dark, if by dark you mean as astronomers in the 1970’s and 1980’s did, impossible to see. How do you do something that is by your own definition, impossible to do? – The 4% Universe, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

We have to do the same thing as the astronomers did. Ask questions, to our equals and our non-equals. Read, learn, and question. Be open to other possibilities. The first step is becoming comfortable with not knowing. When you step up and say, I don’t know if I’m right. Can you help me see this better? At that moment you will start seeing and doing the impossible. It’s like discovering a hidden door in your house. A room opens that you never knew existed. Wonder and delight are in that room along with the undiscovered years of dust.

When you make an empty space for knowledge, the information will come. The first answer may or not be correct. The purpose of seeing the unseen is to continually grow your sight. Never stop and settle. Never close the door and say, I’ve learned that. I’ll move on now. Anything closed is finished. Life isn’t a task list of items to be learned. It’s a constant growth cycle of building and destroying. Learning and unlearning. I wouldn’t go up to a 6th grader and tell him he’s finished learning math. Not even a college student. There’s always more to explore.

Who Is Real?

At first I thought you had two faces. but now I see one face is real and the other is just a lie. Do you believe that lie?

There was a time in my life that if someone told me their aspirations or beliefs, I didn’t look any farther. That was the person, the one they described to me. Now that I’ve had more experience in life, I realize the person screaming obscenities behind the smiling face is the true person.

I believe it was Maya Angelo that said, When someone shows you who they are, believe them. It’s a matter of training, or in my case, retraining my senses. At first it seems awkward. I see the two faces and I hear the voice speak that tells me they are kind and gentle and that I should believe them, and then there’s the punch in the face. Wow, where did that come from? Business leaders will promote new ideas. They’re for progress, the new style of management. Their employees are their greatest asset, they say. The want to allow their employees opportunity to grow. Then slowly, moment by moment, they take your privileges away. You’re called on the carpet for petty things. They look at you suspiciously and monitor your phones. Which to believe? Was it only the flavor of the month?

A spouse says they love you. They want to spend more time with you and can’t stand to be away from you. But they work late most nights and when they’re not working, they hole up in their office reading financial reports or playing video games. Hmmm, something isn’t syncing.

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I tend to be a bit naive, trusting, accepting. I’m also a fairly adaptable person so I take on too much. I step up too tall and I stay too long. Which is fine if I’m with my friends. They know me and I know them. I feel free to say Not today or I’m not feeling well. And we all understand each other and allow the other person to bow out gracefully.

My problem isn’t that I didn’t see the actions or even know the person was lying. My problem is that I wanted it to be true. My emotions were involved. I cared. And that’s where my conundrum is. Do I not care anymore? I have no wish to become an ice queen. Caring is human. I have learned to isolate my caring to smaller and more trusted groups. I’ve learned to detach from caring if  I realize I’ve over invested.  With age comes experience and that grows into wisdom.

I no longer believe your lie.

The Truth Is

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

I’ve always said that I just want the truth. I want to know how it really is. Is there a personal God? Is there just a deity? Or is religion just a superstition? What does God want? Does He/She communicate one on one? Or is the source of communication somewhat of an impostor? A chameleon?

The truth. My questions have changed. I realize that truth changes and there is truly no one absolute truth. My premise was incorrect or incomplete. I wanted THE TRUTH. I thought at one time that there could only be one. Like the rock of Gibraltar in one place that didn’t move and didn’t seemingly erode.

“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer”
― Douglas Adams

The truth is, there is no one site for truth. Truth has changed as I have changed. Look at your own truth. When we are young, truth is simple. Good, bad, happy or sad. Imagine if you kept those simple ideals as your truth. Good guys wear white and are nice. They open doors and smile. As life changes, you realize that good guys wear all different colors. White horses and white hats are for the movies we watched in those days. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the good guys blew up buildings and fought in wars. In those movies they wore black and green. Truth is not a simple statement. It’s a concept. It’s like home.

Where is home? Home can be people, family, friends, a library, a coffee shop, a house, your grandparents or your car. Home resonates inside of us. We know it when it’s there. It’s different for everyone. Which leaves me with my questions on truth. I may not ever know the facts about the history of God or our origins. I have to accept my limitations. My knowledge base doesn’t exist beyond this world and the answers aren’t here.

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe

There’s no ancient discovery that accounts line by line the unveiling of God or humanity. Or the role of religion in this world. No, there are many ancient discoveries. There are many voices that speak compellingly their truth. The loudest ones are not always the right ones. Even with the wisdom of Solomon we couldn’t untangle the knots of fact and fiction. I can’t do a search on Google or Bing to get the answers. They don’t have all the answers.

According to the book and movie, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, the answer to the greatest question “What is the meaning of life?” is 42. Of course it’s a joke, from a funny movie, but sometimes everything seems like a joke from a funny movie. You just have to laugh.

In All Humility and Arrogance, I Say….

Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
I used to be foolish and believe what people told me. I do hope I have grown past that by now. Other’s have said that they could look people in the eye and tell what type of person it is. I don’t have that gifting I guess. All I see are blue or green and if they have cataracts. For me that is like looking under the hood of my car. I can stare all day at the oil dipstick and the battery cable but I can’t tell a darn thing about the vehicle and why it won’t start.

My way goes back to SHOW me who you are. Yes, people can fake it, but not for long. Something of who the real person is will leak out. I had an incident happen this week that reminded me of this. I was having a conversation with someone and they had said something but meant another, like “I went to Paris” when they meant to say “I went to France”. I was no big deal, but she was shocked, believing she SAID what she had THOUGHT, because obviously her brain doesn’t get her words mixed up. At that moment I received a very clear picture of that person. Here is a person who never faults herself. It’s not so much that she doesn’t think she is capable of error, more that she couldn’t see it. Do you know the time when you got that car, maybe the blue one because not too many people had a blue car and especially not the brand that you had. Then suddenly you see blue cars everywhere. You COULDN’T see them before, but now they are everywhere. In that way SHE couldn’t SEE that she could make an error and didn’t take it into consideration. In her thinking we heard her wrong. Hmmm, all 5 of us.

This is the difference, in my eyes, of arrogance and humility. The arrogant cannot SEE the flaws in their judgement. Their opinion is correct because THAT is all they see. To contrast, there are the humble. And to that extreme there are the self abasing humble people who need to see themselves as well as others. These are the ones who have been long considered low on self esteem and self conscious. Psychologist have been telling them they have a flaw and god know that they are aware of this and they cringe. They want to hide. They see their flaws and are very aware that of the errors of their ways.

It’s time for some moderation. It is good to see others and to give to them and be kind to them, but remember that there are the arrogant ones, who will never see you except to use you as an example or an icon to prove their “rightness.” You had best move out of their way and shut your doors. The arrogant won’t read this so I’m not talking to them because they know more than me anyway. So to the humble I say, Be good to yourself today. Show yourself some love and lock your doors.