I drove home from my nieces’ first birthday party through thick fog. It clung heavy and low across the reed beds of the moss. And then, rounding the bend of the familiar railway crossing, a sinking globe of burning orange creating a masterpiece on the horizon in a way that only mother nature knows how.
I turned into the pot hole ridden lane that leads to the bird hides, committed to capturing this scene to permanence on my phone. But the lane took me in the wrong direction and that great bauble hovering in the sky, casting an ethereal light into the fog, disappeared from view.
A man appeared out of the mist, jogging. As he said hello and jogged on by, I captured him, instead.
When I reached my apartment a thought wandered in. A thought about how, just as that afternoon had been thick with fog, our lives are thick with stories. Created in our minds from the moment we wake to the moment we fall asleep.
Stories that feel good and nice that propel us forward in an empowering sort of way. And stories that feel stressful and heavy that hold us back and keep us stuck.
Stories about who we are and who we aren’t. Stories about the people we meet, the things they say and what they might think about us. Stories about the relationships we’re in, the jobs we do, our health and our wealth. Stories give sense and meaning to this vast, raw world.
But the thing about stories - whether they’re nice stories or stressful stories - is that they are, in the end, all stories. Not one of them holds more truth than another. When you wake up and see a miserable, rainy day, I’m waking up and thanking the heavens for giving me that divine sound of pitter pattering raindrops on the skylights. When you launch a programme that fails and tell yourself you’re not good enough, I see a person who’s one failure closer to success.
The reality you live in is created, 100%, by your thoughts. The raw material of the world comes in through your senses and you mould and squish it into stories that help you give it some meaning. Your stories are different from other people’s stories.
We’re all waking up to different realities.
When you really see that this is the case - that everything you’re experiencing is just the thick fog of a story, a possibility opens up. A place where you can step back and view the fog from behind and see it for what it is: Weather passing through.
You don’t need to get so worried about the fog anymore. You don’t need to worry so much about that big problem in your life. You don’t need to get lost in it now. You don’t need to believe that this fog - this story - is all there is. Because now you can move back and stand in that place behind and before the fog, where the light of that burning orange globe is always there.
From here you can watch the weather happen without getting lost or anxious about it. From this place you live with greater clarity, greater freedom and greater...fun.
Next time you feel yourself getting lost in the fog - a story about something going on in your life - remember that you can always move behind it to where the sun, acting like a backlight, will show you that it’s nothing more than a bit of weather passing through.
Love and courage,
Help someone step behind the fog today. Tweet it out: The fog won't last. It's just weather passing through.