Halloween, 1992. Manalapan, New Jersey. This photo was taken just before the party.
It is the stories we carry that tell us who we are. It is our stories that tell us how to see the world.
When we step onto the path of healing (whether it be with the goal of healing an illness or just trying to be a happier person), our stories are our greatest clues. The stories that live in our psyches, that come forth, asking to be acknowledged, are where our work begins.
It’s important to ask ourselves why, of all the millions of events and memories we have experienced, are these the stories that arise? It is because they are the nuggets that carry our deepest pain and greatest lessons. They epitomize what we have come here to learn, should we be willing to accept the challenge.
I’ve had a deep yearning to write a book for as long as I can remember. But what about? Hasn’t everything already been written? What could I add that has not already been shared? The only answer that makes sense to me is to mine the stories of my life and let them tell me what my book is about.
So I asked myself what story wanted to be told, and the vignette below is what emerged. I cannot say that it is addressing how to heal MS or any other physical illness in any sort of literal way.
What I’m certain of, though, is that excavating and examining the stories of our lives is the orthogonal route, the counter-intuitive route, to discovering what, precisely, needs to be healed to make us once again whole.
So without further adieu, I welcome you to one of my least favorite memory of my school career…
It was Halloween, my sophomore year of high school, and my friends and I were about to walk into a huge party hosted by someone I didn’t know. I was dressed as Marilyn Monroe. My long brown hair was hidden inside a curly blond wig, I painted her signature mole above my lip, and wore a revealing white dress in iconic Marilyn style.
Thanks to my push-up bra, I thought my cleavage looked awesome. I felt sexy, and happy for an excuse to be someone else for a few hours.
The nucleus of the party was in the basement, and people were packed like molecules of a big, solid mass. I stood at the bottom of the basement stairs, unable to move past the wall of bodies.
A cute guy dressed as a vampire, who happened to be standing in front of me, looked at me and said, “Who are you?”
“Marilyn Monore,” I said, feeling a wellspring of excitement that I was actually being noticed. Maybe tonight would be it. The night everything changed. The night my fingertips grew long enough to grasp what had always been just beyond my reach.
“No, I mean, who are you?” he said.
“Marilyn Monroe,” I repeated, louder, assuming our miscommunication was an issue of volume.
No, who are you?” he said again, losing patience.
“Oh,” I said, finally getting it. “Karen Gordon.”
“Oh. I don’t know you.” And with that, he turned to make his way in the other direction.
Which of your stories are asking to be noticed? CLICK HERE to leave a comment.