Changing the Narrative

Sometimes, all we need to do in our lives is to change the narrative...

It sounds very simple, yet this is incredibly hard to do...

There are moments when things are not quite working in our lives. Our thought patterns hold us captive and our future possibilities lie scattered all around us, truncated at best...

Sometimes, we just have to entertain a different way of looking at things, and recently I was reminded of this not once, not twice, but three times...

I reflect on the journey of Pope Francis to a land sacred to three faiths, always in strife, gripped in endless drama and bloodshed, where its inhabitants were all recognized at various junctures by this Pope - to the dismay of the others, each one jockeying for sole attention. All of Israel and Palestine's factions were each encouraged to find solutions for peace by making hard choices and sacrifices. Not one group was praised or faulted over the other, because they all must change their perspectives if there is to be any real peace in this region. This certainly requires changing the narrative!

I think of several friends, mired in suffering they can't let go of, because they remain chained to the same way of seeing things, repeating the same monologue over and over again, intransigent in their views and pre-determined boundaries, until one can longer offer anything else in return but the simple suggestion that what is needed in that instance is to change the narrative...

This requires so much humility and letting go on on so many levels... 

Yes I know, because I have been there...

This weekend I kicked off my summer by doing what I have done for over a decade - attending the live broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor at Wolf Trap National Park, in Virginia. And now I end this brief post with an excerpt from Keillor's new book, printed in this weekend's program, because it too, alludes to the need to change one's narrative from time to time...

Yes, we can always change the narrative, no matter how difficult it may seem to be. And when we do so, we have the ability to also change the past and our experience of it...

"Don't be held hostage by the past, 
the bonehead mistakes, 
the grievous losses, the hard blows. 
Look ahead. 
Improve the day. 
Grow flowers. 
Walk in the woods. 
Clear away the wreckage 
and make more spaghetti sauce. 
Do a radio show and tell humorous stories 
about Midwestern stoics 
who are encouraged by adversity. 
Life can be a slog. Why dwell on it? 
Be of good courage. 
Into each life some rain must fall. 
And so what? 
Sew buttons on your underwear."


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