I Remember Now ~ Writing the Story Of Our Lives ~ Pastor Tim Tengblad Post 65
Hi dear friends! I haven’t posted anything for awhile. A reader recently emailed and reminded me that my last post was June 4.
I thought I’d check in and let you know why. In addition to grand parenting, I’ve been devoting my time to writing a book. When I retired, I told folks at our church that I was going to write a book that would contain everything I know. So it will either be a book, or a pamphlet. That was 6 years ago. Which brings me to share what I have learned in a long process, and how that relates to life here as a soul trying to be human.
– Humility is often a difficult experience, but always a good one. This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never tried to write a book before. No one has taught me how to do it. I’ve been on my third run at it, and I look back on my first two attempts and I feel somewhat embarrassed by them. What’s probably most embarrassing is that I actually thought they were pretty good.
But here’s the thing, none of us know how to do this human thing. We’re just doing it, and figuring it out as we go along. We’re spiritual beings trying to figure out how to be human. And every attempt we make in writing the story of our lives is not about “good” or “bad.” It’s just the best we can do at that moment in time. We learn and move on…
– Writing this book is agony. But I’m the one making it so. I tell people “I’ve got this book in me that just won’t leave me alone. It’s got hold of me and just won’t let go.” But how fortunate we are when there is something in our life that we just can’t not do. When we know what that is, I believe we are in tune with the soul’s knowing of why it is here.
– The more I work on the book, the shorter it gets. I spent 9 months writing 180 pages, and it took many drafts to get there. Aw, the ego loves to hear itself, and loves to make things complicated. But the profoundness of spiritual Truth is found in its simplicity. The inner voice (Echo talks about) isn’t much of a conversationalist. Its few words are to the point. “Go.” “Don’t go.” “Call Susan.” Not great at parties, you might say. So now I’m looking at a version about 100 pages long. With illustrations from an artist friend, to help me keep it simple.
Meister Eckhart (the German mystic of the 13th/14th Centuries), wrote succinctly “The soul does not grow by addition, but by subtraction.” Distilling Truth and life down to its essence is the wisest of all pursuits.
-With that in mind, I’ve learned a lot about letting go. In writing the 180 pages, I would get up in the morning and write for 3-4 hours. Then I’d get up the next day, look at it, and delete everything I wrote the day before. A friend of mine attended a writing workshop some years ago. She quoted the leader who said, “you’ve got to be willing to let go of your darlings.” We’ve got to be willing to let go of what we thought we were so sure of. What we were convinced is so good and valuable. Every time I did so in the writing process, I found that something better was trying to be born into my awareness.
But nothing we do before that arrives is a waste or a ‘mistake.’ We need to first live whatever it was in order to get to the real darling that awaits us.
-I’ve learned about getting out of the way. When I was laboriously writing and trying to come up with the 180 pages, I often wrote until I had a headache. Only then would I stop writing. Whatever we’re doing in life here as humans, headaches ought to be a clue that we’re trying to force, control, or manipulate something into being what it was never intended to be. Now I’m trying to write as the inner voice speaks: succinctly and to the point. Allowing the few words to fill in their own meaning. And now? No more headaches.
– I’ve learned about being open to the wisdom around me. When I’ve gotten feedback on what I wrote, I noticed my ego was first in line to listen. And it became defensive. But when I was able to be open to the wisdom coming my way, the whole process has become much more in line with what the final product is intended to be. Others could see things that I could not, in my limited, protective, and fearful singular perspective. While at this point in the birth process a huge part of me wants to be the first male to have a C-section, I am so grateful to these wise midwives. Whatever the book will turn out to be, it couldn’t have been delivered without them. And so it is with what we and the story of our lives evolves into. We truly need each other.
-I’m learning about letting go of the outcome. I have no idea if this book will ever see the light of day (as in being published). It’s very hard to get a book published. You could easily say that the odds are very small. But when it comes to what the Universe intends, odds don’t mean anything. If it’s supposed to be published, it will. Whatever it is in life, it will happen if it is supposed to happen. Eventually.
Which brings me to my final point. It’s not about the outcome. If this book is never read, that in no way is a “failure.” As is said, “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” I have learned so much from this process. I love what it has done for me. If that is “all” that happens, that is more than enough. Let go of your desired outcomes my friends. Our lives as humans are truly all about the journey, and the growth of the soul that the experiences on the journey bring about.
One update before I publish this post. The format for the book completely changed today. On to the fourth round. So agonizingly hilarious!
As for making things simpler and more succinct,
You are Love. Write that story, and all is well.
Pastor Tim Tengblad
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