This is me. This right here is the image I have of myself at this juncture in my life. I think it
shows the intensity which drives me. I think it shows that my eyes have gotten older, so I need glasses from time to time. I think it shows focus. I think it shows confidence. I think it shows strength. I think it shows depth. Of course, you look it at and can see something totally different which is okay too. But, for me, this is me. This is the Sean of today. However, this Sean didn't evolve from today. This Sean was built from many variations of his past self. I am him as well as all of them. This Sean exists because of all the others that have come before him. Thus, today I see this Sean as the best representation of who I am in this world.
There is something to be said for knowing who you are and being comfortable with your place in your world. But it lends itself to a question of, how do others see me? You see, I know what I see, but I don't know what others see even if they tell me. It is an interesting thing when you look at both sides of the coin. Like me in this picture, we put out our image of who we are, and we share it in our actions, our words and our circles of friendships and acquaintances.
Alright, now that I have you thinking about that, let me redirect your attention to the point of this blog. One of my best friends sent me a meme and said, "This is something I could see you blogging about." After seeing it, I forwarded it to a couple of friends that sparked some nice conversations. My friend was right I would definitely have to blog about this meme. Oh, I should
probably share it at this point:
"If you woke up tomorrow and everyone in your life but you had amnesia, what stories would you tell about yourself?"
I had to sit with this for a few moments before I could decide what I'd say or believe I'd say. What would I do with all that new power? Oh yes, it's power because knowledge is power I've been told. And if no one knows but me then I have all the power to be, for better or worse, anything I want to be. So now, I think back to the picture and the statement about the picture of me. I know who I am. I know what I am. I know it all at this moment. Why do I know it? Because I have a place in this world. I understand where I fit. I know obstacles and understand that I can climb them or break them down. I know the man in the mirror. I also know that my circle, my friends, my buyers of my books and workshops, and the strangers I meet on my journeys all validate the very image I have of myself. But if you take all that away and give me a clean slate, what would I tell then?
What would you tell?
If you are anything like me you automatically think of all the stuff you could get away with, as people don't know you. I mean I could be a hero having saved the planet from the horde of killer ladybugs. I could be president of the universe who put a protection ring around the planet and simply lives here to protect Earth. Ok, I may be around too many writers after all. More to a realistic thing: I could make myself to be nicer, more understanding, more compassionate, all the good things we hope people would think of us. I could speak whatever I want to the world and
not worry about a thing because no one would know better. Intriguing, isn't it? Power over opinion and knowledge.
I had an image pop in my head at that thought. In fact, it's this one right here. I took this picture thinking it looks like I am creating the cloud. If I change the cloud to "stories," it fits for this blog. You see, once it's said and put out to those friends with amnesia, it's embedded and can't be undone. Whatever way I choose to use that power, for good or bad, will be out there for good. All of it, the truths, the lies, the exaggerations, and the embellishments. All will be given life. Even a small white lie will be complete truth to someone who doesn't know better. You can also undo mistakes you made in the past that broke trust or let someone down. You can create the connections all over again. Think about that big fight you had that broke up a friendship or a relationship. A fight that you have always regretted. Poof! It is gone. I said power, and I mean power. Everything you ever did could be rewritten.
I imagine that is what most of us would go to if we had this power. We would try to undo our mistakes and heal our pains with others. I imagine that it would be amazing at first. I imagine that all the relationships would be perfect. We wouldn't even worry about those words we use to rebuild them. Yes, we would have to remember what we said and told, but, more than likely, they
would float away and become one with the story. But there is the thing about recreating a history, much like this photo of the cloud. Something seems out of place. The truth, or our truth, has a way of always coming to the forefront. The reason? Because you (I) know the truth. Eventually the truth will come out either in words or actions because we can't live a lie forever. Even if the truth is never told, there will always be something "off" about the relationship. I'd imagine that little odd cloud (the "off") would eventually grow over time and bring it back to what it always was in the first place.
You see having power of knowledge has a great responsibility attached to it. One cannot just wield it and change it for their own benefit. If the wielder of the power is corrupt then so shall the power be corrupt. In the end, all the relationships will crumble as each "lie" is revealed. When trust is lost so is the benefit of the doubt which at times we all need in our relationships. And that is the key to the whole question of what stories we would tell, because it is asking, "What will you do with the power?" That in itself begs another question: "Who are you when no one else is looking?" Which also brings me to, well, to me and my answer to the question.
What stories would I tell if I had the power in my hands to change it all ? After some serious thought the truth is that I would tell the same stories I tell now. Why? Because who I am is built on what I have been through and who I have been through it with. To say anything else would be, in my opinion, disrespecting all the great that I (we) got to accomplish. Yes, even the broken relationships. That is my truth to the question. I would much rather reteach my friends our shared stories in great, okay, maybe some exaggerated, detail, to let them know who they are and who we were. I'd like to think connections surpass memory.
In fact, I think of the many people who deal with family members going through Alzheimer's and dementia who spend agonizing hours with family members who are forgetting their relationships (and much more in some cases). I can't imagine me not telling them the truth of our history no matter how many times I had to repeat it, because it honors them and it would honor us. Then, on those rare occasions when the person has lucid moments, I'll know it was the right thing to do. Now, I am only speaking from assumption since I have not had to deal with the unimaginable toughness of those two diseases, but I'd hope that I would do just what I said because I'd want that from my loved ones. So, there you have it, in a nutshell. In the end, the truth of who you are today should be the truth of who you are on any day and on any occasion. The situation does not make the person. It only shows who the person really is at his/her core. So, what would you do with the power?