Some of us are particularly sensitive to social narratives. I don’t know how to explain it better than that.
Those of us with a tendency towards mental health issues. Because the psyche is made up of stories. If the stories are sick, our psyche will be sick.
Those of us with this sensitivity to “narrative sickness”, know when a social narrative is no longer working. We ourselves become sick. And then we go out trying to rewrite that goddamn narrative, but that doesn’t mean people will listen.
“The choice of the story we believe is not based on evidence. We recruit the evidence to fit the story that resonates with a state of being that attracts the belief. Then, when the belief is ready to change, perhaps when your state of being has changed because things have happened in your life that have changed you, the old belief doesn’t fit the changed being you are becoming. Through a crisis, or a collapse, those old beliefs don’t hold anymore”.Charles Eisenstein
Our goal then is to help people access a different “state of being”
What is happening is that people are waking up en masse to a whole collection of truths that they were trying to avoid for decades.
When we identify that a particular narrative no longer feels “useful”, we can experiment with trying out a different one.
This technique is as old as time, and people in indigenous cultures would grow up with rich and varied narratives, so that they would practice changing them as easily as changing clothes.
While traditions like Buddhism would tell you to “drop it”, drop the thoughts and the narrative altogether, I have found that this is too harsh and too difficult. It’s yanking something that feels personal, and doing it without anaesthetic.
Changing the narrative, or at least trying out a different narrative, helps us loosen out any notion that there is only “one way to be”, gives us a sense of perspective, since “there are many sides to this story”, and may even help us find a different answer, or a different purpose. Perhaps the purpose isn’t for me to get what I want. Perhaps this is happening for me to learn something else.
The life conditions of most people have gotten so desperate that they find themselves far enough from the “mainstream narrative” that they can point to it and say “hey, this is not working”.
But it’s easier to point out that the system is not working than it is to acknowledge just how much the system is not working for us. It’s easier to talk about “Unemployment” as a concept, than to say “I am unemployed”.
I’m talking about that gap between the life we are “supposed to have” and the life we actually have. Between the life we expected to have, because it’s the life we have raised on, because it’s the life presented to us since birth, in every corner of the culture.
We die when we fall into this gap. We die “socially”.
We must create another story to land on, one that is held by the whole of humanity. Perhaps not consciously, but held by our ancestors. By those who came before us and knew better.
For people who have left the old stories
And are trying to walk the new ones
I want this space to be a home for those people who aren’t living the “official stories”. Whose lives don’t look the way they are “supposed to”, according to mainstream narratives.
There are so many stories of how life is supposed to go. There’s the “Marriage Story”, that says you are supposed to meet someone in your 20s and date for a while before settling down and getting married and staying married until you die.
There’s the “Career Story”, that says you go to college or University and get a degree, then start working on some “entry level” job and progress further and further up along the ladder, fulfilling all your purpose and potential, and this career will give you stability and financial rewards.