What Story Are You Telling?
“What is left when illusion ends?” Eckhart Tolle
‘Once Upon A Time’ was a great way to start a story when we were youngsters. These days, the stories don’t begin with those 4 little words. What words ARE they now; how do they affect your life? One might ask, ‘What story do I tell myself to justify my behavior and the behavior of others toward me?’ Have you ever wondered why we accept negative, destructive behavior when it is directed at us like an arrow to a bull’s-eye?
What stories were written on the chalk-board of your childhood? Are you aware you’re telling yourself these stories time and again? As children we classified the events in our lives according to our experiences, and then filed them away in the recesses of our minds. We call upon these files whenever our minds are active, which is most of the time. It’s like using a computer, you put the cursor on a file, click to retrieve and open.
In days gone by, a person of influence delivered to you their thought or action and it became the outline for every other scenario that faintly resembled the original from that day forward. For example; how many times as a child were we told to ‘shut up?’ The interpretation of such a message is that what we have to say is not important enough to be heard. As an adult the tendency is to say “whatever” during a conversation in which the other person does not seem to be listening to or hearing us. Sound familiar? The interpretation of ‘whatever’ is that we believe what we have to say is just not significant. We shut down, not so very different than shutting up. An ‘old’ story has reared its ugly head.
We have an entire library full of stories in our heads. One for every occasion! These stories shape our interactions and exchanges with everyone around us. Do you ever find yourself shopping when there is no ‘need’ to, yet something inside tells you that you deserve the item – that’s an entitlement story. Or, are you the shopper that always talks yourself out of buying the ‘thing’ you really ‘want’ because you do not ‘need’ it? That’s an ‘I do not deserve it’ story.
Relationships are in the category of ‘most devastating’ stories. One of the most important relationships we have is with ourselves. It is the one that needs to be in the best condition if we are to share our lives with others in a meaningful, nurturing way. The stories we tell ourselves have a profound impact on the way in which we interrelate with those closest to us. Do you wonder if the relationships in your life are where they could be, or, with whom they should be? Are you nodding? Then there is a good chance that the negatives outweigh the positives in the roles chosen.
The story you tell yourself causes you to accept or decline the behavior directed at you. When things do not seem to be going in a positive direction, stop and ask yourself what exactly you are taking delivery of; and what story is attached. Keep in mind that the other person has their stories too. Does the other person’s story negate yours? Not ever! It simply shapes their behavior and helps you to understand where they’re coming from.
For peace of mind, get to know your stories. Erase the ones that are not in your best interest. Just because a story was written in the past does not mean it has any application in the present. Life is too short and too precious to not have only the best and healthiest of associations surrounding us. Those associations begin with us! Understanding and/or changing the why of what we do, will help to insure that only the most loving conduct will be aimed at our bull’s-eye! No illusions! Isn’t it time for you to embrace who you really are, what you really are? Once upon a time is now!