“I don’t think we have stories. I think we are stories, and we’re stories that I believe will all be told.” ~Wm. Paul Young
When you are a writer, one of the unexpected twists is that you get accused of ulterior motives. Some would assume we are in it for the money or we’re trying to recruit people to our “team” or we’re on some kind of covert mission from somewhere mysterious. But probably more than anything writers are trying to tell a story. That story is so deeply a part of them that, like Paul Young says, may more accurately described as who we are.
The best stories are vulnerable and real and authentic.
Even when I wrote the novel that I hope to release next year, I found parts of my story bleeding into the plot line and conspicuously trying to tell that story for me. I don’t think our story will stay buried forever because it wants to be told – it wants to discover – it wants to heal and understand – it wants to journey with other stories – I could go on.
Telling the story helps us clarify what we are learning. As I say, “Writing helps me know what I think.” Maybe more succinctly, it crystalizes what I am discovering. In the purest sense, our stories are our mystic journey of experiencing the Divine directly as we go inward and look expectantly for what we cannot predict.
This was very true in my latest book, Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity. As I told my story of the crisis that eventually worked for my healing, new insights and direction unveiled themselves as I continued to take the next step and tell what I experienced.
Myths could very simply be described as stories like these that stood the test of time.
Transformational and life affirming principles are deeply woven into the stories we tell. They are not just a means to pass the time, they are the interconnected journey toward understanding the Divine and how we are continuing to evolve in our understanding and our relationship to it all.
Unfortunately, our default moves toward tradition. But tradition moves away from the being of story to the doing of activity. It captures an action of the past and deems it sacred and harnesses us to the yoke of repeating a cycle simply to give us comfort, but never really peace.
I want to invite you to the continually active, most sacred and quite mystical activity of becoming involved in story. Tell your story, dive deep into the stories of others, and experience the exhilaration and wonder and enchantment that only the story can bring.
Come with me on the journey of being and becoming, instead of just doing what we “should.”
Without shame, I offer you my transparent journey of being and becoming. It is my story of crisis and healing and learning to BE. It was painful and vulnerable to write, but it was worth it to see how it is already affecting people and how it changed me to tell it.
I can’t wait to hear your story as well.
Be where you are, Be who you are,
Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart and The Tea Shop. He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. He is married to his wife Laura of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply!