Embedded within the challenges of our times are crisis and opportunities—galore. It strikes me that the spirit of the innate wild resiliency within us is to focus on and to move toward the opportunities in any circumstance, while remaining informed by the dangers all about. Certainly Life itself is opportunistic and aware at its core; to allow this intelligent expression within ourselves reflects an alignment with the Breath of Life.
Yet it is also in the nature of culture and of organizations and of family too—to attempt to shape us for ends of their own. The willingness and courage to be loyal to one’s own self…in the face of other’s harsh need to shape us…comprise the ingredients of world mythologies and of the perennial philosophies. They also comprise the challenges of daily living, more so for some of us than for others, as beautifully illustrated by this quote from Lea, a young black woman.
Being black in a white land means you’ve got to care a lot about yourself in order to survive. You either learn to stay on your toes or you get trampled. Every day I have to fight the stereotypes they lay on me, otherwise someday when I’m discouraged and someone suggest that my skin makes me dirty or stupid or lazy I might start believing it. Stereotypes are deadly for anyone. Counteracting mine keeps me flexible. — Your Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling, by Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox
This spirit of loyalty to ones own self in the face of Life’s admonishment to make something less of ourselves, this spirit of ‘caring a lot about one’s self,’ these are not only radical political acts. No.
They are radical spiritual acts as well, this moving toward the writing of a story of our own.
Where in your life are you called to write a story of your own?