Choose Your Own Adventure (Pack Lightly!)
This is YOUR life! YOU get to choose what it looks like.
Do you remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from childhood?
I do. They were awesome.
I remember how connected I felt to the text at the bottom of the page, the text which indicated possible storylines, and the page on which the next step in each particular storyline could be found. I remember the thrill of turning to a certain page where different storylines unfolded, depending on my choice.
Sometimes, the story would end, and the character would be absorbed by the giant slime or some other fantastical imagery. Other times, the character would triumph. And just like in life, if a choice didn’t pan out, the reader could go back and make a different choice, and try again. The Hero’s journey— where one chooses to engage in an adventure, navigates the dark, makes conscious decisions, and eventually, returns as Victor due to the learning and inner transformation that has occurred. The hero comes home changed. The transformation itself represents the triumph, much more than any conquered battle.
In “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, the story was already written for us. There are many philosophical and spiritual reflections in that— and on many levels, absolutely, the story is already written. But there is also inherent programming in our acceptance of that— that life and events represent a predetermined set of scripts from which we must choose.
I am much more interested in the idea of free will and freedom, and how we create our own scripts. How we create order from chaos by doing the thing that was never predicted. There is irony in that, isn’t there? Order can be created from chaos by doing something completely unpredictable?
Absolutely. This makes innate sense to my mind, my heart, my body, my spirit. Because, that was the only thing I didn’t like about those books, the fact that the script was already written for me, and I was confined to the choices written by an entity outside of myself. My thought process was always creating additional story lines, and wanting to follow through with those instead.
I didn’t know at the time that I was seeking sovereignty within that reading experience, a reflection of my unconscious knowing that life is indeed a set of scripts created by constructs, belief systems, those with power and “authority”— and that we can choose to write our own. I did not know that this slice represented the creative spirit within me, represented integrity, represented knowledge of and belief in Self, represented my heart-lead, loving intentions; no matter how outside-the-box. I did not know it represented the possibility to choose for myself, and in my choosing, reclaim my power. Reclaim order inside my own experience, as opposed to battling the chaos created by something outside of myself. I did not know then that I was a Creator.
At the same time, we can also choose to allow the other story lines to be, while focusing our energy on creating the new ones which resonate within, come from our own creative spirit– as opposed to putting all of our energy into navigating the stories we do not choose for ourselves.
To some extent, yes, we must navigate those other storylines. Resisting what is, bypassing what reality is showing us, is not what I’m speaking to here.
So how might we approach the reality created by entities outside ourselves?
Awareness, Feeling the Emotions Created by the Awareness, Acceptance, Choosing to Create New, & Humor
That sounds like a lot. How does it all fit together?
There are some dark, pathological realties that are horrifying when we first glimpse them. Once the emotional dust created by our appropriate human response has settled as a result of our emotional processing, we can speak to what we See, if we choose. At the same time, we can allow others to be where they are, and to see what they see— and instead of fighting, instead of predictably engaging in polarization, we can put our energies into the creation of the new storylines with which we resonate.
But where does humor fit in?
When we see a narrative unfolding around us, and we see the absurdity, even the stupidity, we might also experience the whole gamut of human emotion. Anger, grief, incredulity— it’s all purposed. It’s trying to tell us something is “off.” And what I am interested in is accessing sincere responses/reactions that are neither predictable nor predicted by those who seek to create polarization and intensify the reality of this world’s duality. Those who seek to divide and conquer. Those who seek to silence, pathologize, censor, discredit.
And always, what I come back to, is humor. I connect to my younger self in that space as well— the one who turned the pages of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” with a smirk and a twinkle in her eye. The one who inwardly laughed at the giant green slime.
Laughter, humor— when sincere— represents one of the most beautiful aspects of who we are. It also results in our leading from our hearts, rather than fear, and assists us in taking a Bird’s Eye View to both absurdity and polarization. From that space, we can write whatever we want, and the storylines written by others with perceived “authority” are shaken up, because our response is unpredictable. We take back our power. We do not respond by shrinking in fear, or by exploding with anger. We respond with expansion, with the openness of the laughter that comes through when we remember our power and identify the attempts to dupe us into believing we have none. We remember how to dance.
When I respond with anger or grief, I recognize my past emotions rearing up in my body; reflections of times I was misunderstood, shamed; reflections of the times others tried to rewrite my story. That is my inner child and younger self. But, like yourself, I have navigated my own Hero’s Journeys, and now find myself inside another. The previous journeys prepared me for this one, and I accept it with gratitude. I thank God for the opportunity to expand even more. I am grateful for the humor that has accompanied me through life. I am grateful for its fortitude: how, when I have forgotten it inside very painful moments or situations, it has eventually popped its head out of the hole I left it in and yelled, “Hey! Remember me? I’m useful!”
Sometimes, I am a dunce and a dork. I laugh at myself in those moments, with love and acceptance, because I appreciate my silliness and the absurdity of navigating this human body in the world of physicality and form, the absurdity of tripping over my own thoughts or speech or communication. For me, this is all a reflection of play and laughter inside the human experience. A reflection of the dance. And so, just as I laugh at myself when I am comically navigating life, I can laugh at slices of the world too, laugh at the absurdity of those in power who believe they have power over myself and my family.
They only had power when I didn’t see them for what and who they are. They only had power before I saw they were actors on a stage inside a storyline already written. They only had power before I knew I could choose whether or not to engage in their stories.
We can still choose to take their narratives seriously. That is a choice that is just as valid as any other, and, to some extent, we can hold that as well. We can hold that in our hand and Bird’s Eye View ALONG with an awareness for the ridiculous nature of all they represent, send them laughter, and choose to rise above with remembrance of Who We Are. The creation of new reflects our divine remembrance.
The energy we lead with is everything. The energy is informed by emotion. The energy determines the adventure.
We can recognize duality with acceptance. We can have awareness for orchestrated polarization. We can discern absurdity. And, we can respond to all in ways that aren’t predictable.
What fun. That really changes up the game, doesn’t it.
I wonder what might happen, if we all just threw off the shackles of pathology and absurdity with laughter; I wonder what might grow from that, if we all just started laughing, wildly??!!
“Someone should start laughing. Someone should start wildly laughing, Now!” ~Hafez/Hafiz