During my sabbatical in Switzerland I was wandering through the picturesque Old Town of Zurich, Switzerland, and stopped in my tracks as I approached the Franzkiser Hotel. Memories flooded through from the time when I was eight years old and my family stayed in this quaint hotel. The views into the square with its typical Swiss fountain and further to the crystal clear Limmat River flowing through the center of Zurich captured my full attention. It was as if my soul reached back in time by almost fifty years. The human capacity of memory makes us one with our entire life story – our biography.
Many of you know my delight in certain lyrics and one of my favorites comes from the musical “Mame.” It describes her being fully present to her life. She sings, “There’s thank-you you can give life, if you live life all the way!” This doesn’t mean to me living life in a “big way” only in the present but also living from a perspective of our total biography, seeing the big picture, the whole show!
It’s easy to limit ourselves to the details of a single day. “I am tired.” “I am unemployed.” “I am too busy.” Well, we have it half right. If we just stop with the statement: “I am…” we will be led into our unique biography. We all have a story of rich life experiences. It isn’t a matter of how privileged or challenged the circumstances seem to be, we ALL have a story rich in the business of living or the process of becoming.
Today you might ask yourself “How ‘tall’ is the tale I’m telling?” Am I telling myself, or others, the biggest possible story of all that my life holds? Or am I repeating and repeating the same old chapter of my troubles and disappointments? Most of you reading this article have a biography that spans decades. My late mother, Wilda, used to say her life spanned nearly a century! In her final years she had a great sense of the retrospective view of her life. It filled her with appreciation not just for the past but also with a sense of wonder for what was coming next.
Take a little quiet time in your day and reflect on the “never-ending” story that is your life. We all know how pleasant it is to curl up with a good book. Why not spend some time with your own biography! For a little while you can leave the “little me” of daily details and go on a great adventure with the “Big Me.” Your big Self has quite a tale to tell.