Sacred StoryWe heard our first stories while listening in earnest during childhood.  With legs folded, hands on knees, and heads bent slightly forward, we absorbed storybook tales of heroes, fluffy animals, and relationships all illustrated in bright, cheery primary colors.  Some of these delights we remember. Some have faded into glory.

Like the bedtime stories of childhood, those read by elementary school teachers, and even those early books we read with so much pride, there are two other types of stories we tell ourselves. These stories can be authentic, or they can be masks – wordy tales attempting to make us whole.  Over the years, we cling to these stories we think we need for self-completion.  It’s the sacred story of our lives we have forgotten.

Over and over, in many different ways, we create stories of our “imposed identity.”  These are inauthentic stories at best.  “I have to be pretty.”  “I need to be wealthier.”  “I am good.”  “I am a failure.” “I am a lawyer, doctor, secretary, street sweeper, Jewish, Hindu, artist, Christian.”

On and on it goes in our minds.  “I am abused.”  “I am a victim.” “I have to victimize.” “I have to be perfect.” “I am awful.” “I need success.” “I am a failure.” We think we need these stories. We fight for them when something or someone interrupts or threatens our imposed story.   Yet, all these different stories we make up about ourselves have one thing in common: they are all a search for wholeness, a tale told to complete what we perceive as incomplete about ourselves.

Underneath all these imposed tales, each of us has a different type of story, one unique to the individual, completely whole and never changing.  It’s not who we were. It’s not who we will be. Instead, it’s who we are, our core, our complete essence.  I call it our sacred story.

No two sacred stories are exactly alike, because no two people are exactly alike.  Your own sacred story includes your spiritual gifts, discovered or yet to be discovered. Your sacred story is not about what you need to be, not about what you do, not about what you believe; it’s about who you are, right now, all the good and the challenging parts of yourself blended together. The events of your life, when deeply witnessed through your own insightful perception, widen your spiritual insight of the Divine, as well as your specific connection to this glory. It’s not just the monks, the shamans, or the holy teachers that live a sacred story. Instead, it’s the man in line ahead of you at the grocery store, the woman juggling a child on each hip, or the person you just passed unaware.

Sacred Story2 Whoever you think you are, whatever you have done, and whatever you endeavor to create of yourself, your story is still sacred.  When you finally realize the sanctity of your experiences, finally feel a loving Higher Power as part of yourself, finally realize the wholeness you seek has been with you all the time, finally feel that the love you have always sought outside of yourself is actually from God – found within – you not only live fully, you actually consciously awaken to your sacred story. Until then, you walk through life unaware of your innate spirituality.  Like a parent holding the hand of a child when crossing the street, that Higher Power reaches out to each of us, as us, through us, and for us every day. Our job is to pause, to listen, and be still enough to know our I AM presence. Then, and only then, will we know the sacredness of our own story.

Regardless of whom you consider yourself to be, what you have been, or the choices – good or not so good – that you have made in life, when you finally recognize that authenticity you have always sought is a holy essence within you, your life is fulfilled.  You are living your own sacred story.

“Love exists out there, in the trees, in the sky, in the stars. Love lives in the eyes of not only my fondest friends and lovers, but in the deeper recesses of people I thought were my enemies. Love is not only the experiences I have, but also the space between these events, these holy moments of every day, all day, each day. No longer would it be necessary anymore to look to others for love, to look to the spiritual places on the earth to show me how to feel love, or look to religious practices to learn about love. All those were part of a spiritual dynamic, just teaching points along the journey to fruition.”

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