We are pleased to bring you this excerpt from "What's Your Story" with Mark Matousek. Whose story, exactly, are we living? Who is this character we’ve invented? Those are the questions Mark Matousek forces us to ask ourselves.
What’s your story? Discover who you are and what you want through the power of personal writing. It's about asking questions and understanding who we are and why we are what we are. Allow yourself to hear what I am saying.
We are going to be talking about who am I, accessing our soul or awakening our spiritual witness. There is a beautiful story that I’ve always loved. A group of tigers in a forest leaves a cub behind by mistake. The tiger cub is reared by sheep. The sheep teach it how to act like sheep. It walks like a sheep, and it baas like a sheep, and it eats grass just like a good sheep should.
Now many years later, a tiger happens to be passing and sees this ridiculous sight of this half grown tiger behaving like a sheep. The adult tiger is appalled and sort of amused and drags the tiger to a pool in the forest, and there it shows the young tiger its own reflection. The tiger begins to wake up to what it really is. The older tiger teaches the younger tiger how to roar. At first, all it can do is make bleeding sounds, but slowly the tiger roar begins in its throat and then after weeks of practice, it comes up to its master and gives the great roar of freedom.
This is how we spend our lives, although most of us don’t know it. We are taught to see ourselves as sheep, small, herd-bound, domesticated creatures defined by our physical bodies and an image of ourselves bequeathed to us by parents who think that they're sheep too. These parents give us names that are meant to define us, names that eventually grow into stories. These stories then come to comprise a self-image, whose legitimacy we believe to be iron clad. It’s not until we begin a process of self-inquiries, spiritual inquiry, that we come to understand that this way of life is a case of mistaken identity. Now, I have learned this myself through writing, that when we question our labels, our beliefs, our assumptions, we pull back the layers of mistaken identity, onion skin by onion skin.