Photo of Lac de Lamoura, French Jura
I have been doing some reading, learning and re-working on Narrative – aka the story/ stories I/we tell – whether to ourselves or to others.
Narratives are potentially powerful vehicles for life, living, how we show up in the world, choices we make. When we become conscious of the stories, or narratives, we hold and tell, we can gain some purchase, some finger holds for adapting and shifting them.
In a workshop I participated in this week, I had a couple of powerful insights.
The first was that the “tag line” to the narrative I feel I have long lived by continues to serve me well. Still holds true. Still feels current and relevant.
The second insight is that, despite all that has happened these past few years, despite all the losses and tectonic shifts in my life, affecting every detail of my personal and professional ways of being, when I consider “updating my narrative’s tag line”, just one word needs to change. But that one word, that four letter word, is a big one.
For many years, I have held the intention, or narrative, of “Living and loving life. Fully, and On Purpose”. Each of those words has felt very important to me. The Living. The Loving. The Fully. And the On Purpose.
As I reflected on what updates my life’s narrative warranted, and after going through a range of exercises from the Human Systems Dynamics Institute, I realised that I still loved the tag line and story line I have been living into for many years. And the only update is to put in the word “This”.
“Living and Loving This Life. Fully, and On Purpose”.
This life. This life. THIS life! The one that I have, the one that I am in, the one that is mine to live into, nurture, carry, curate, enrich.
I have had times of questioning my life, and times where I have felt so overwhelmed by everything that I didn’t want this life, or I didn’t think it was fair. Of course I have had those times. Often. Especially these past few years.
But the truth is that, most of the time, I like my life. Most of the time I love my life.
Yes, some aspects are impossibly weighty, heavy, painful, hard. I don’t have adequate answers for questions such as “Why did this or that happen? Why then? Why to me?” But I do know that I still love my life.
There is too much in my life that I love – my two courageous young adult kids, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my Medjool, my clients and my work, my dog and cat, where I live, and more. I love that I am healthy and strong. I love that I have social and professional skills and interests in the fields I do. I love that I love to learn. I love that I love to contribute.
Having this updated tagline and narrative to live into doesn’t mean that it will all be plain sailing. Grief will bowl me over again and again. But that’s okay because it is an important and valid part of my life. This life. The one I have and that I choose to live and love fully. On purpose.