This weekend my friends and I talked a lot about myth and metaphor and how metaphors shape a person’s worldview. Myths and metaphors are important because they affect how we act and interact. For instance, if a person’s personal metaphor is that she is superwoman, she will attempt to do too much and swoop in and save others, and often to her detriment. Or if a person’s worldview is that we are all one big family, he or she will treat others with love, respect, and compassion.
I’m still working out what my personal metaphor is, but what I can tell you is it’s changing and thus how I’m showing up in the world is changing.
At my core I am a loving person – I have a huge heart and I care deeply about all living beings. However, because I am so sensitive, especially when I was younger I didn’t feel safe being my loving, soft and feminine self. The world felt too big, scary, and rough. Like dropping a teddy bear in a field of velociraptors – if you do, it’s going to get ripped to shreds. My solution was to become like a medieval knight and put on loads of armor. If I wore armor that meant I wouldn’t get hurt. But my true self is loving and love is expansive; it doesn’t want to be contained and is not satisfied with existing inside a suit of armor.
Something about this whole Saturn return thing that I’m still undergoing is stripping away false beliefs and ways of being. Even as I wanted to be a medieval knight, even as I aspired to be hardhearted and fierce, I don’t think anyone ever actually perceived me that way. My point, and the reason for the title of this post, is that sometimes we think we know who we are, but often our perception doesn’t match up to reality. And more importantly, if we change the deep underlying story we operate from, we change how we show up in the world.
More and more I’m becoming love personified, that’s who I really am, that’s how most people perceive me I think. I want my new story to be that it’s safe to be soft, feminine, vulnerable, and loving. I want my perceived weakness to become my greatest strength. I want to exist in the world as I actually am, not who I think I should be.
I’m driving at two points here: 1.) who we think we are is often not who we actually are and 2.) the personal narrative we operate from is deeply important. I’m advocating that we realign who we actually are with a story that works for us and works for the betterment of the world.
I dream of a world where we each show up authentically. A world where we allow ourselves to be who we really are. A world where we take a closer look at the metaphorical stories we’re operating from and decide if they’re working for us. A world where we understand we can change our stories and as we change our stories we change our lives.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.