How Do You Know When a New Life Story Begins?
Sometimes you plan for new life stories, carefully laying the groundwork, planning, getting information, journaling possible new futures, visualizing, taking it step-by-step.
Sometimes a new life story develops gradually, growing and gaining strength beneath the surface. “Roads not taken” often do that. For one reason or another you consciously take a path and leave others untaken, then over the course of months or years, that path reappears, often in a different form giving us undreamed of possibilities.
Sometimes a new life story “happens itself upon us” in an instant. A chance meeting, a letter, a phone call, a change in a relationship, an illness, a promotion, and suddenly everything is different. Everything up for re-evaluation. New decisions to make. New paths to explore. The unknown to wrestle.
At such times, a journal can be your best friend. Write to know what you think and feel. “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” wrote E. M. Forster. Just explore your now. What is it like? What seems like a reasonable next step?
One way to use a journal for new life stories is to explore “what ifs?” in imagination. What would it be like if…” How will I cope with…? If you write several scenarios, you will have covered all the known bases. Sometimes this kind of writing is like blazing paths before us, making possible what has been improbable or impossible. Writers often do this in writing new paths. It is as if they are consciously or unconsciously laying out a new road to travel in their novels, then their personal life often follows along the trail blazed by the fiction.
How to know when a new life story is beginning? Ask your deepest and highest self by asking in your journal. Talk to friends and people you trust. Be open to the goodness the universe has to offer, no matter in what form it arrives.
As Robert Browning wrote, “Greet the unseen with a cheer.”