I've had a bit of a rough week, here in the world of me. First, I made a rookie mistake with a firing at the pottery studio, and one of my pieces exploded in the kiln. That explosion not only ruined my own stuff, it also messed up the work of several others, and left a mess in the kiln that someone had to clean up.
Next I made a scheduling mistake that left an important person stranded.
Then I got stood up for an important event.
Then I received a couple of very personal blows to the ego that left me feeling sick to my stomach.
None of these is earth shattering. All are first world problems to be sure.
Nevertheless, the bunch of these events mentally formed themselves into an invitation to enter into a very old and familiar story line in my head. A story that's all about me. And the moral of the story is this:
I think you know this story, and how easily you become the recipient of such an invitation. You have your own story line, your own plot twists, and your own peripheral characters, but the moral of the story is still the same:
I used to get lost in my story for days at a time, whole seasons at a time. And I believed that my soul's work was to get myself back into a different story, one in which I was OK, or even great. A story in which I definitely did not suck.
But then I learned that the mind makes up stories, dozens of them, all starring me as the central character. Stories in which I'm either a hero or a schmuck. And depending on which story is running, I either feel rotten or relieved. Rotten, because, well, to suck feels rotten. Relieved because honestly, I don't really believe the stories in which I'm the hero, I just feel relieved that I don't suck.
And then I learned that, after the stories play themselves out in my mind, they're just that - stories. Mental constructs. Shame-fueled core beliefs. And that underneath them all, I'm still here.
That's a strong and peaceful feeling.
The essential Me stands apart from all the dramas playing out in my head. There's a me that can't be threatened by a judgment of suck-i-tude; nor can it be flattered by the illusion of greatness. I'm just me. I am who I am, and I will be here when the story's over, here after the credits roll.