very happy people know a secret: a human being has a ridiculous amount of personal agency*
Which came first? Language or meaning?**
As story-telling creatures,
It’s critical to notice if we’re playing the victim
or being the agent.
If our life isn’t what we want it to be,
And yet we stick where we are,
It’s likely we’re playing the victim in some way or other.
Even to turn our curiosity towards the things that
Is to begin to act more like an
To utilise our agency is hard because,
we have to do something we’re not used to doing
or maybe have never done before;
But to remain a victim is harder.
When travelling south from Scotland
to visit our family in England,
One route takes us past a small sign
marking the source of the River Tweed.
Looking across the moorland,
There’s nothing to be seen,
But a little searching would discover a trickle of water that,
As it flows towards the sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed,
Is slowly swollen by the contributions of many water sources,
Until the Tweed must be spanned by some considerable bridges.
I mention all of this because to move from
victim to agent,
We begin with small steps.
If you are curious about this then
you have already begun.
To uncover what you have,
To notice what you can give,
And to identify the smallest ways of giving expression to these,
Will not only identify your meaning in life –
Life is about making meaning and our stories encapsulate what we create –
But also swell your agency and carry you away from being the victim.
(If I can help, let me know.)
The word for this is transformation:
What is the essence of heroic energy? A hero wants meting in life and is willing to accept challenges in order to transform into the person capable of getting what they want.*
*Donald Miller’s Hero on a Mission;
**Lynda Barry’s What It Is.