Just like you can’t rush the writing. Lesson learned –
I didn’t realize how much of my past I’d over come until recently. Experiences that I just knew would affect me for life, all of sudden didn’t have any power over me. It took me years to get over them, but get over them I did. Now here we are; there have been some recent upsets that I just knew I’d be over by now. I couldn’t figure out though why I was still having the anxiety attacks, the tightness in my chest, the trouble thinking when it came to the situations. In more dramatic (writer-ly) terms, it was as if I’d cut myself with a knife and instead of giving myself time to heal, I kept playing with the knife. Telling myself all the while that I was tough, I was over the initial cut and the knife wasn’t going to wound me again. Obviously not the case.
There is a Buddhist teaching, in fact the only one that ever resonated with me; it goes something like this (major paraphrase ahead) – humans will get shot with an arrow and will bleed to death trying to figure out why they were shot, when the enlightened thing to do is remove the freakin’ arrow so the healing can begin. I’ve been writhing around in pain trying to figure out why, all the while expecting the healing to happen quickly despite the arrow still being embedded in my chest.
My main characters in my work in progress are running around with some major arrows in their lives. I’ve been dragging them through all kinds of situations expecting them to get over the arrows already; rushing them to heal and fall in love. I haven’t allowed them to pull the arrows out and start the healing process (in other words, I’m missing a major chunk of the story). I rushed right past one of the most important parts of the book – the process of removing arrows and the all important time to heal.
Ah ha moment – the theme or rather the purpose inside this story (all of my stories have a purpose for being told) is born. I think this will be a powerful story. I really hope anyone who reads it finds the strength to remove any miscellaneous arrows…we could all use some healing don’t you think?