The stories we tell ourselves about life are the posts and beams of the personal worlds we end up living in. Your stories are the illusions that make your personal Matrix appear real. If you tell yourself that nothing you do matters, then it won’t. Every time we tell ourselves a story about how we are less powerful than we truly are, we become less powerful than we truly are. Believing the story, we stop trying. We close down our capacities.
How many of us feel we are stuck in a life that doesn’t fit? One where we believe we can’t fix anything, so we console ourselves by buying things we know we don’t need? Or by drinking or getting stoned? Or eating? A life where distracting ourselves from the rebellious feelings of despair that bubble up inside us becomes our goal?
Sometimes we cling to stories that divorce us from our abilities because we are scared of what we would become if we accepted those abilities. Maybe we stay stuck because we know that so many of our relationships are based on believing the same stories. Sometimes we cling to our stories because we fear there is nothing else—we fear emptiness.
But our lives are comprised not of our stories but our experience. Even without the illusion of a story’s security, basic facts remain true: The floor is still hard beneath your feet. The leaves on the trees still rustle in the wind. Sugar is still sweet. Salt is still salty. Reality is right here, whether you cling to your stories or not.
If you can detach from the stories you tell yourself about how you should or shouldn’t relate to the world, then you will simply relate in the way that comes most naturally to you. The way that brings joy to you and compassion to the world. It helps you and helps others. To know this, all you have to do is stop believing you are less than you are.