We are not our story

Social Impact Events allow us to get to know the families we serve intimately & throughout these events we are welcomed into their stories and lives. What is always so amazing to me is how resilient these little kids are and how they do not let their stories hold them back.

Over the past year I’ve pondered this and have taken a hard look at how I have identified with my story for so long and how freeing it is to finally leave the past in the past and begin living for the present. This takes practice not perfection, one day at a time.

My favorite poet writes:

“Our ability to find something to love, and to love again for the first time, depends greatly on how we resolve and integrate where we’ve been before. A great model for us exists in the chambered nautilus, and exquisite shell creature that lives along the ocean floor. The Nautilus is a deep sea form of life that inches like a soft man and a hardshell finding his prayers along the bottom. Over time it builds a spiral shell, but always lives in the newest chamber.

The other chambers, they say, contain a gas or liquid that helps the Nautilus control is buoyancy. Even here, a new lesson in how to use the past: live in the most recent chamber and use the others to stay afloat.

Can we, in this way, build strong chambers for our traumas: not living there, but breaking our past down till it is fluid enough to lose most of its weight? Can we internalize where we’ve been enough to know that we are no longer living there? When we can, life will seem lighter."

It is not by accident that the Nautilus turns it slow digestion of the bottom into a body that can float. It tells us that only time can put the past in perspective, and only when the past is behind us, and not before us, we can be open enough and empty enough to truly feel what is about to happen. Only by living in the fresh chamber of the heart can we love again and again for the first time. “

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with Matt Hampton, a local writer who is an incredible soul. He and I took a walk. We talked a lot about not being our story and not being our past but moving forward with the truth that the past has happened but we no longer need to be defined by our stories. Hope you enjoy the read. Thanks Matt!