This is not a story

Steve Chandler has done a fantastic job in a book he published last year titled “The Story of You (And How to Create a New One)“. I first stumbled on Mr. Chandler in a book store in Palo Alto. Not in the flesh, but in plastic. In an audio book CD set entitled “17 Lies that are Holding You Back and the Truth that Will Set You Free”. It took me a while to listen to it, months in fact. I didn’t expect much. I had a lot of time for a long drive, and it sounded like something that would remind me of things I’d heard and learned before. Instead I was surprised by his direct and simple approach, the depth of his personal sharing, and the freshness and direct applicability of his insights. So I had high hopes when I ordered “The Story of You”.

Ceci n'est pas une pipeThe basic idea of the book is that our personal stories are our problems. We need to get rid of them, rewrite them, make better ones. Perhaps it really all just comes down to a basic philosophical realization that has yet to be fully comprehended while in reality it is also at the heart of many of the spiritual lessons delivered by the great masters over the millenia. The famous painting by Magritte of a pipe with the words below in French that say “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” Or, “This is not a pipe”. Others have expressed this as “The Map is not the Territory.”

Our stories are not who we are. They’re stories. What is amazing is that our stories actually direct much of our experience as well as our actions. So the stories we make up about ourselves actually create our futures. But at the same time, our stories serve a purpose. Often times they make us be the hero in a sad victim story.  If we tell such a sad story over and over, it starts running our lives like a record stuck on the same track.  It just repeats over and over ad nauseum.  I could make up a story about how busy I’ve been and why I haven’t posted. But this post is not a story. It’s great to be alive. It’s great to have the opportunity to share Steve Chandler’s work. He has blessed my life with his writing. May the reader be blessed with stories that bring inspiration and love.

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