Thursday, January 14, 2010


I was remembering recently the childhood adventure of going on a camping trip, sitting around a campfire at night, and then seeing who could come up with the scariest story of the night. You know the story; the one that could topple the marshmallow right off the smore? It is really silly in retrospect to think of the effort and imagination that went into trying to be scared! I guess we knew that they were only stories, yet somehow they gave a feeling of aliveness that simply sitting around in the mundane setting of the campsite somehow left lacking.

This recollection truly gives me pause. As I watch the landscape of the mental me, I am able with increasing regularity to laugh at the stories I am prone to tell myself, stories that reflect the fear in my mind and the undigested grief in my heart. It is right back to the campfire my little boy goes. The stories of “what if” are capable of jarring me from the center of serenity in which I mostly choose to live. I know at a deep level that the stories I tell have no basis in reality. And yet the mind can return repeatedly to the tales it always wants to spin. Whether it is telling happy stories or scary stories is somewhat irrelevant; stories still they are. The more emotional residue that remains in the energy body, the more likely to tell scary stories we are. This could also be called worry. It could be fret. A more palatable term for many would be concern. And yet underneath the labels much of what the mind engages it’s self with comes in the form of scary stories. This happens at the micro and at the macro level. Watch any world news program and what you will hear are mostly scary stories. The only thing missing is the campfire. The commentary of network news is belabored interpretation of these stories, with multiple scary scenarios as to how the fearful situation may play out. Then people take sides as to which remedy they will align with in reacting to a problem that often hasn’t even occurred yet. Is all this in an effort to unconsciously come into a deeper level of aliveness? Is it so that we might feel the fearfulness in an inescapable way, forcing us to take a deeper look and listen as to what we are saying, and from whence it is coming? Are we playing with the polarities of creation in an effort to make a choice between the expansion of Love, and the contraction of fear? Why would sane adults choose to tell themselves stories that deliberately scare and torment? The question of sanity is a valuable inquiry in this context.

Mark Twain is reported to have said late in his life,” I am an old man, and have had many problems- most of which never happened.” The more years I add to this incarnation, the more I resonate with his reflection. Most of the fearful imaginings I have scared myself with have never actually happened. Most of the scary occurrences I have braced against never actually came at me. They were only coming from me. A guiding question for me in this still new year is “What am I saying about what is, and IS IT TRUTH?” I will to stay awake in that inquiry, and to feel deeply into the feeling tone my mental meanderings are creating. Is what I am saying to myself honest, helpful, true, and kind? What I am saying within myself is a huge contributor to the vibrational atmosphere in which I am living. To continually question the validity of my inner dialogue goes a long way to bringing me back into Soulful Presence. If I find that I am telling myself another scary story, I don’t have to judge, berate, punish, or torment myself in any way. I can celebrate the fact that I have heard the content of the story, and am choosing to Presence it on its way. Fighting the story only makes it seem more real. When I drop down into the stillness of my heartful, Soulful Self, I am able to simply see the story for what it is. Another scary story. Another tribal tale. The aliveness we long to feel is always just below the story. It underlies the tale. It undergirds the campground, the fire, the story, and the one who is telling it. I can then choose to tell a better, happier, more loving story, on the way to telling no stories at all. Awe, and then what would the surface mind do?

I invite you dear reader to listen to the stories you are telling this day. Are you reiterating a scary story that someone told to you? Is it true? Is it Truth? How are you feeling as a result of the tale, and what emotional imprinting may underlie it? Perhaps we could join together and build a big campfire, and then sit and say nothing at all. Only feel the warmth of the fire, the togetherness, the unconditioned aliveness that is revealed in our stillness. There will be no story needed.