Unravelling is a time to free from entanglement
It seems to me that the stories we tell about ourselves and those that others tell about us tangle together to create a web of tales and mythology that creates us and what is possible for us, both our light and our dark. “You are so good at x” or “I’m really not creative” can hold us entangled in old versions of ourselves – for example, you migth be good at x – but if it doesn’t bring you life then what is the point?
These stories can tie us so tightly, bind us and blind us so we cannot really see what is going on, who we are and who others are. As our stories unravel, or even just one story starts to unravel it is a time to free ourselves from the tangles. What could be possible at this moment as the stories loosen their grip on our identity, our way of seeing and experiencing the world? Realising that I was creative (though not artistic) opened up who different possibilities for how I can live, communicate, dress, move, think and be with others. Freed from entanglement of this story I can live a bigger life.
Unravelling is a moment of disintegration
As our stories breakdown and disintegrate we can feel as if we are becoming undone. We can loose our sense of who we are, what matters to us, what we want, who others are, how to respond, what we think and feel. We can feel confused – what was once clear and straightforward is now complex and nuanced. We can feel lost, possibly even a little as if we are going mad. It takes courage to stick with the disintegration, but once we’ve seen that so much of our identity if about unhelpful stories you can’t turn back and pretend they are facts.
Unravelling is an unfolding
As we unravel, new possibilities unfold. It is a chance for poiesis, ‘bringing something into being that did not exist before’ – the blooming of a flower, the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. At this time of ‘unfolding’ we can reshape our stories and become poiesis ourselves. As we lose the stories and beliefs that bind how might we reshape? What butterfly might emerge? Its not easy but with practice we can shake off old behaviours, patterns and reactions and step into new ways that offer more space for ourselves and in doing that we create more space for others.
I’ve enjoyed putting pen to paper on this, it has supported my exploration and reflection and eventually unravelling! Some of my old stories are now gone and others are held much more lightly, giving me more space to grow and change. Unfortunately in that move, I’ve found new, more buried stories – but at least now I can see that they are only tales, and tales can be rewritten.