A Time for Rebirth
The ego has a very strong survival instinct and will do just about anything to stay alive ─ like cling to our old stories, even when they cause us suffering. (This allows our ego to remain part of the drama and be a star.)

We believe that if we work hard enough at fixing ourselves, someday we’ll overcome our terrible childhood or disaster-prone love life, but what we don’t consider is that we also have to let go of the role of victim ─ and our ego’s need to be in charge of telling the story.

Have you noticed that when you argue with someone, there is a part of you that wants to stop jousting, and instead find common ground, but your ego insists that you know more or have the superior point of view, so it demands that you keep fighting until the other person is vanquished?

Often, the benefit of clinging to our stories is that they give us a false sense of security and purpose. Your ego has convinced you that if you let go of your story, you won’t be loved, valued, recognized, or seen ─ you might even disappear. After all, who are we if we’re not the wise authority figure, the creative rebel, or the nurturing parent?

In my early days, when I practiced psychology, I would hear people talk about their life stories, claiming their right to feel victimized by their childhoods, spouses, or finances. In those days, I was young and didn’t know how to assist my clients in forging a new story, a heroic myth that would be empowering instead of deadening.

In actuality, our story becomes a death sentence for the hero within, because it demands denying what doesn’t fit into its narrowly defined roles. I have children, for instance, but I’m not “a father.” Of course I do fathering, and I believe that I do it well, but that doesn’t define who I am. I also do writing and healing, but I’m not a writer or a healer. Who I am is a mystery that I uncover more clues to every day. Some days I feel completely befuddled about who I am, but I don’t let that get in the way of doing good, effective parenting. It’s just that I recognize that a character like “father,” “writer,” or “healer” is far too small to describe what I am.

If you identify yourself as a parent, remember that your children will outgrow their need for a mother or father who takes care of them. Who will you be when your children leave home? How will your role shift? Similarly, if you identify yourself as an entrepreneur, an accountant, a chef, or a wife, you’ll come to the end of that role someday. You’ll have to create a new identity for yourself at that point, and it can be frightening because you don’t know if you will find an identity that has meaning for you.

Every character in your story presents false evidence of your true nature. And when you insist on only seeing others ─ whether it’s your mother, your father, your boss, or your child ─ in the role they play in your life story, your perception will keep you from experiencing who they really are. This will create anger in you and in them. However, when you let go of your story, your relationships with those you love and struggle with will begin to heal, and the resentments will dissolve.

During this season of renewal and rebirth, consider letting go of your limiting stories. Break down your boundaries and allow the immensity of infinity into your personal narrative.

In peace and health,

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