Mostly the stories we’re living are invisible to us. They’re like the air we breathe, or the water we swim in.
If you’re someone who never rests, who keeps going even when you’re exhausted – as so many of us do – do any of these stories shed light on the way you’re living?
Are you taking yourself to be
An orphan? Carrying a huge burden given to you by others that cannot be put down. There’s nowhere to rest. Nobody who can really be relied on. Nowhere that’s safe. All you can do is to keep on carrying, carrying, carrying, knowing that life is ultimately exhausting and nobody can help you.
A frantic hare? Always running to get to the finish line. The point of life is to hurry, hurry, hurry so that you can be there first. If you stop, even for a moment, you’ll lose the race. Because everyone else is apparently running too.
The emperor in new clothes? Trying to look good or at least acceptable, but fearing that everyone else can secretly see that it’s all a façade. So you have to work hard all the time to keep up an image, and not let any cracks show, in case you get found out.
Atlas? Holding up the world for everyone with unceasing, superhuman effort. If you don’t do it, nobody else will, and then the sky will fall in and everything will come apart.
And if not one of these stories, is there another one you can find that will explain why you’re so sure you can never stop, never take care of yourself?
Where did you get your story from? From your family? From the wider culture into which you were born?
And what happens if you let go of your story, just a little, and find out that it can’t be completely true? Perhaps then you’ll find out that you’ll still be alive, and people will still be around, even if you lie down for a while.