I’ve been having some interesting conversations, and reading books and watching movies and taking part in classes about the subject of stories. The stories we are living. The stories we are telling. The stories we are believing. And it’s brought up some interesting things for me, as a writer, a storyteller, and creator of fictional worlds.
I am aware that the stories we tell and that we believe, create the world we live in. When we repeat the same refrain over and over, about who we are, and what we are and are not capable of – it becomes our reality. It becomes our truth, and we will tell it to whoever will listen.
We create our pain, our struggle, our drama – all by what we say. Out loud and in our minds.
I know, that I have all the tools I need to slay all of my demons and create a harmonious, abundant, joyful life. But I don’t use the tools, I don’t put things into practice, I don’t slay my demons and create that life. Why?
Because my demons are my muses.
My darkest moments have created the most powerful scenes in my books. My lowest points have yielded my best poetry. My expression of the depths of my despair have reached people, connected with people, resonated with people, who are in that very same place. And in those connections, those people have realised something crucial.
They are not alone.
There is hope.
If the character can experience the same pain, the same struggle, the same pitch dark night of the soul – and survive it – then those people can too.
I know that I don’t need to experience something to write about it. There is much I have written about that I have not yet experienced, and perhaps never will. But I do know that when I have experienced something, and when I write even in the moment I am still experiencing it, those words are what connect with people in the deepest possible way.
And so, my demons are my muses.
Of course, being aware of this means that I don’t have to dwell in those dark spaces. I don’t have to give my demons any more airtime than necessary. Instead, I can live with them. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Becoming friends with our shadows? Accepting every part of our selves – the good and the bad, the light and the dark? If I were to slay my demons, and live purely in the light, I may as well be on the other side in heaven, and not a human on this planet.
The point of being human is not to slay the demons, but to understand them. To listen to them. And to let them help you to help others.
So tell your stories. Live your stories. Believe your stories. But know that you have the power to change the story whenever you choose. You are creating your experience, your life, with your story, and by understanding and befriending your demons, you can create an even more powerful story, that could help others.