When we start to understand the way we interpret the unfathomable world, we realize it’s all just story after story that we tell ourselves. We are just making shit up all the time.
As my friend Val said earlier tonight, “It’s your illusion. Do what you want!”
The Adam and Eve story in the Bible is one of many creation stories, but it was the one that got sanctioned and published — it’s the “official” story of Judaism and Christianity.
I notice some of my stories have a Before and After. Before my sister died. After the car wreck. Before I was innocent. After I knew first-hand how bad it could be, how much I could hurt. After I suffered, was damaged, lost my innocence, lost my trust.
We live in a world that understands things in terms of Before and After. We like to take incidents and make them meaningful, so that we can daydream about the time before and wish we were there instead of here.
Innocence, curiosity, understanding, gaining experience. What if life is good even when it’s bad because you’re alive?
We are lucky to have experienced pain and stress and grief and trauma. It’s uncomfortable, sure, but it actually makes us better people, smarter people, and often, much more compassionate people, because we can relate to every other human in the world who has experienced pain. Which is everyone.
What if life just happens, and some of it we’re prepared for and enjoy, and some of it takes us off the path we think we’re on, and we adjust? We restore ourselves to wholeness and innocence only to fragment and be disillusioned again. Thus stories are born and are interesting to tell and to hear.
But it’s not a circle. It’s a spiral, because each time, we get something new out of it — self-knowledge, insight into human nature, a different strategy, nonattachment, a bit of wisdom. We spiral through life, revisiting issues at different ages, bringing experience to bear on it each time.
Writer/yoga teacher Julie Peters concludes:
…every traumatic experience I’ve been through has made it more possible for me to understand other humans, to be a better teacher, friend, lover, writer, student, and everything else. With every trauma I go through, I realize, man, we are all still naked in the garden. I’m not getting any more innocent, but the more shit I have to deal with, the smarter I get. And every step of the way, every single time we screw up, we are learning how to do it better, and telling better stories all the time.