What's Your Story?
Our stories determine how we experience a particular situation. Life happens, our brain interprets, and labels like, “stupid, undeserving, failure, unlucky, victim” are born.
A good way to get a glimpse of our own story is to step back and look at some of the pivotal events in our lives—a failed relationship, a job layoff, a relationship with an abusive parent. Then ask, “What’s the story I’m telling myself about this situation?”
For example, a failed relationship could translate into, “I can’t trust anyone.” A job lay off, “I’m a failure.” An abusive parent, “I’ll never be good enough.”
Why do we get attached to our stories?
Stories can provide a sense of safety, even if they are painful. We imagine that if we can fit our present experience into a previous interpretation, we have some control over the situation. Stories can also be a way of avoiding painful feelings and can seem to help us make sense of difficult situations.
But the problem is that these negative beliefs and filters are not real. We make them up…and they block us from being able to see a situation for what it really is. We end up having a relationship with our stories rather than with life itself. Our days end up feeling dried up and stale, the same damn thing over and over again.
So how do we move beyond our story?
Well, perhaps the more important question is, “Who am I without my story?” Do we have the willingness and the courage to be present to a situation now exactly as it is. That means putting our thoughts on pause, and being present to what is without judgment, analysis, or deciding whether we like what is happening or not.
Essentially, in the absence of mental filters, we allow our mind, body and heart to be open and receptive to the moment, standing back and observing ourselves and the event, and letting what is happening reveal itself to us, in all its wisdom.
Without mind-created suffering, there are still feelings. There can be pain, tenderness, sorrow, tears, openness, love. But rather than getting stuck on sticky storylines, we can let these feelings wash over us, leaving us feeling fully alive in the shimmering presence of this moment.
Until next time…