Imagine with me, if you will, yourself at age fifteen. Try to remember the musings of your days and nights at that age. Now imagine a young woman of fifteen knowing beyond any doubt that her call is to become a Carmelite Nun. In time she would become St. Therese of Lisieux. As a teen she petitioned the chain of hierarchy of the Catholic Church all the way to the sitting pope in order to be accepted into the convent. As a teenager, Therese developed a devout and intimate relationship with Jesus. She knew a constant recognition of God’s love. She was known by many as “The Little Flower”. Thus is the story of St. Theresa of Lisieux. As with many beautiful stories, there is another side to tell. The other side is one of sadness, loss, bullies, and illness.
In the Book “Story of a Soul, The autobiography of St. Theresa of Lisieux” by John Clarke, O.C.D., I read “Our story is what we turn to when we don’t know what else to do”.
By turning to our story, we have comfort. We are comforted by the safety we have created in our story. Within the story we have created places of safety from the hurts of the world – real or imagined. Within our story we have reasoned and intellectualized what we need in order to function in our world in times when our world feels unsafe and frightening. Within our story we have created a well-rehearsed role for ourselves that likely falls into the category of victim, victor, verity, or vessel.
By turning to our story, we have familiarity. We know the details of our story regardless of how fast the world is turning around us. We tell our story time and time again. We know how life works when the terrain of the world shifts and moves as swiftly as the changing tides. The familiarity of our story anchors us despite the turbulence or chaos moving around us, trying with all its might to draw us in. We already know the ending because we have told our story to our liking.
By turning to our story we have created a habit. Just as my morning routine of waking, prayers, feeding the cats, walking the dog, meditation, showering, breakfast, then off to the office is habit and so is my life story. Many times the story is one of the duality of life: good or bad, happy or sad, uplifting or deflating. We often see life as “either or” rather than “this and”. Perhaps a truer story emerges when we are courageous and vulnerable enough to see ourselves as a vessel of the Divine with the potential to create from infinite possibility. We then open the door for healing our wounds both conscious and subconscious, tiny scratches or gaping gashes. We nurture this healing process until we are bringing forth the qualities we wish to contribute to our world. Fear, anger, rage, and the like no longer tarnish our responses to our experiences. We are living more conscious and awake to who and what we are created to be.
It is said that over ninety percent of our life is lived from our subconscious mind. I for one want to know what is in that subconscious mind that guides my days. Only when I know what is there can I appreciate it for all that it teaches me. Even greater is knowing that I needn’t stuff down any thoughts or feelings. I can allow them all to rise and I can heal what needs to be healed, forgive what needs to be forgiven and release what needs to be released. Then I can write my story of Truth rather than the fiction of fear.
Sunday let’s gather for fun and illuminating conversation about “Five Short Chapters”. I’m not going to talk to you this Sunday. We’re going to talk with each other for personal sharing and growing together. I can hardly wait! Join me at 11:00. That’s my story, what’s yours?
PS We have several fabulous events coming up. The Meditation Retreat, Fifth Sunday, Bahkti House Band Concert to name a few. Get out your calendar and check the enews or website, you won’t want to miss a single event!
Blessings and much love,