There is the outer journey which takes us into our activity and busyness.
And there is the inner journey which takes us to the source from which we are active and busy.
We’ve more often been concerned with the first. Even what we have thought of as inner journeys – religion and faith and spirituality – have been more outward activity and busyness, warding off the unwelcome focus on who we really are and what we really are like.
But this is changing.
In better understanding the Human ability to continue developing and growing throughout our lives, and from generation to generation, we’re more willing and able to travel inwards: shaping the source from which we believe, belong, and behave.
What we find is a story, and when we can tell this story we find and spread wellbeing.
“All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.”*
Though, we can be blind to these stories, or hide from them. Perhaps we haven’t realised how we can shape them. In extreme cases, these stories can imprison us.
Psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz asks a question found at the far end of story dysfunction: ‘But what if a person can’t tell a story about his sorrows. What if the story tells him?’** Grosz as been sharing the story of someone who couldn’t find words to tell his own story, shaped by his parents, and so he acted out the only way he could.
John O’Donohue warns of, ‘the hungry, blistering need with which you continually reach out to scrape affirmation, respect, and significance for yourself from things and people outside your self.’^
Our story can be shaped with foresight, intention, and love:
‘They learn to whisper awake the deep well of love within.’^
(*Author Karen Blixen, quoted in Stephen Grosz’s The Examined Life.)
(**From Stephen Grosz’s The Examined Life.)
(^From John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara.)