The other day a friend asked me how I was and I had the disquieting experience of hearing my response. What I heard was a well worn repetition of a tired story–how I am (okay), how my husband is (not so okay), what the kids are doing, where my book is in it’s publication odyssey (otherwise known as Limbo)–and I thought, “I’m really tired of this story; it’s boring.” Then I thought, “I need a new story.” And then it occurred to me that maybe all I really need is to begin a new chapter. Change things up. Stop saying the same lines over and over. Otherwise I’m going to wind up writing a story that winds up tout suite in the bargain bin.
It occurs to me that each of us is the author of our own story; the profound power of this little truth too often is diluted by its unquestioned omnipresence in our lives. We forget that we write our own narrative, we choose the characters that populate our story, we decide how the tale unfolds.
An author is an originator, a creator, literally “one who causes to grow.” Anytime you say, “I am,” you set in motion an energetic movement toward manifestation. “I am” is the ground in which we plant our selves and cause something to begin to grow, be it noxious weed or sensuous flower.
What you say, particularly what you say over and over, becomes a belief, and what you believe becomes, quite literally, who you are. “I AM” changes your body chemistry. Your beliefs create you, because it turns out that cells respond not to genes but to their ecology, their environment, and it is our beliefs and emotions that create the chemicals that create our cells‘ environments. (Epigenetics is a huge scientific topic all it’s own. I recommend reading The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D if you’d like to learn more in a very accessible way. It’s paradigm changing.)
Now any writer will tell you that a book has a life of it’s own. Stories have their own energy, and often surprise the person who is putting pen to page. This is because we exist in a larger paradigm. We have authorship over our personal story but we exist within a pleroma, a word that means fullness, or the totality of divine powers.
So things happen to us: we develop cancer, or win the lotto, or lose the lotto, or fall off a cliff, or lose a loved one and these sorts of details insinuate themselves into our story line. But we decide how we work them, how we respond and what we believe they mean. And that becomes our story–how we see ourselves in relationship to Life.
Here’s how it works: You say, “I’m scared. I’m depressed. I’m sick,” and in stating this as fact (“I AM”) you set up the energetic momentum to create what you say. Your emotions line up with your declaration and set off a chemical reaction. You begin to believe it, and you act on those beliefs. You don’t put any real effort into being peaceful or getting healthy. You don’t question your story. You take it as gospel and your gospel manifests through your cells and becomes your life. Ontology begets phenomenology.
This principle is easily seen in children. Children believe that adults are omniscient, that they are gods. Parents are the authors of their child’s initial self-perception. If children hear “You’re bad,” they believe it and live it out. If, on the other hand, they hear, “You are a divine manifestation of God. You are wonderful just because you are you,” they believe this, and they behave this way. This same phenomenon happens with doctors and patients, the former clad in god garb and the latter granting them omniscience. Doctor-God says you have cancer. You have six months. And guess what happens. Powerful stuff, this authorship business.
This last bit serves as an obvious but pointed reminder: if you don’t have a strong, positive sense of your I Am-ness, some very dreadful people–not you or I of course, but some other people–will be happy to tell you who you are. They will write your story for you, and if you’re not careful, their “You are’s” will become your “I am,” even when it’s not at all true.
Part of my work as a therapist is to question client’s gospel, and to invite them to entertain new story lines. This can be very difficult, but in the service of writing a brilliant story it is imperative to “kill your darlings,” to cut the lines that don’t enhance the narrative, even if they once served in some way, even if you’re rather fond of them. This is not easy, but once you see that your story is actually better, stronger, and more true, it’s nothing short of life-changing, because it is life changing.
If your story has become tired and dull, I invite you to create a new story, with some new I AM’s. You might start by writing the following, or a facsimile thereof, on your bathroom mirror:
“I am eternal and beautiful and whole and vast and
wise and powerful and made in the image of All-That-Is.
I am Love and I am loved.”
Now there’s the beginning of a great story.
Kate Ingram, M.A., is a writer, therapist, and life coach. She loves stories and cannot tell a short one–despite the fact that brevity is the soul of wit (draw your own conclusions). If you’d like to write a new story, please write email@example.com or see the ad this page.