For several hours I wrote my biography going back when necessary to add things that I had forgotten the first time through. I was telling the stories in my head as I usually told other people and myself. The events all happened pretty much as I described. But, a startled thought came to me. Did they really mean what I told myself? Was there another way to interpret all the relationships, and the evaluation I gave to my behavior and that of other participants? What if there was another way to tell my story (of course there was—many well know people have multiple written biographies that vary considerably)?
I was/am puzzled and, in a funny way, relieved. What if I no longer have to define myself by the stories of my life in the way I had been telling them, interpreting them?
Because, of course I don’t! As Eleanor Roosevelt is reported to have said: Yesterday is History
Tomorrow a Mystery
Today is a Gift.
Not that those things didn’t happen. But (another one of my favorite quotes that I don’t know the source for) “Assume positive intent”. Both my positive intent and that of the people who were so active in my life.
Curious that I have held onto the stories the way I have told them. Perhaps to justify my behavior and experience; perhaps to excuse my supposed success or lack thereof.
It was telling this biography in the setting and order of this class that shifted my perspective. (The stories had become like the Committee in my head.) I am free of the weighing down of what I thought was the Truth—all there was. I can be who I am today and practice gentleness.
And when I go to edit the biography in the next few weeks I will feel more free to see it without prejudice. Also, after this realization (revelation?) I was able to much more quickly wrote Part 2 and Part 3.