I believe that all change begins with one’s self. So, I ask myself, self, Why? What is your story?
I want the real story. The one that you have kept locked up and to yourself. The one or series of hurts that seems to nudge at you everyday, yet your adamant anti-change ego has built a manipulating system over the years to counter act it. Not only that, the avoidance of telling that story has created an identity that we cling to as a result. (Re-read that last sentence please). Oh yes, we are that powerful. Of course you and only you are responsible and accountable for all of that. And, that in and of itself is also the work of the ever so crafty ego as well. Attention plays a big role in all of this. When I say attention it works both ways. The power to avoid placing your attention on something is just as powerful as the unconscious attention sucking power of your mobile device. Contrast, dichotomy and impatience. I will come back to these words soon, just put them in your pocket for now. We cant change what we are not aware of. Maybe these parts of our past are so outdated that our focus has shifted from the actual hurtful or disappointing issues to simply perpetuating a cycle of avoiding change itself, any change for that matter. Underneath it all though, there is a higher knowingness that we need to move forward. A story can activate the process, so open up.
This quote by Joseph Campbell has followed me around for a big portion of my 20’s, 30’s and continues into my mid 40’s – “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” The best part os this, the quote is always transferred to me through another person’s usage of it. This ranges from friends, students, and seemingly random people. Meaning, they used it in a paper that they wrote and I rediscover it there. Or someone shared a presentation given many years ago online and there the quote pops up again. Im never seeking to find it, but it always finds me, reminds me and surprises me each and every time. Its magical.
Maybe you are at a point of life where the daily routine and patterns have cumulatively shown you exactly what you don’t want. Maybe the life that you planned 20 years ago was someone else’s idea all along, you simply assimilated it thinking it was the right thing at the time. Or maybe you avoided yourself and the fear of being judged by your friends, family, classmates and colleagues? Either way, you have all the contrast that you need to know that its time to take action. Rewrite the story. I don’t mean doing anything rash to rebel against the identity you formed with your ego by packing your bags and abandoning your current life. That would be a serious disservice and further manipulation of yourself. Start with a still moment. A quite place with a pen and a piece of paper, or your lap top, mobile device or another form of letting words flow out of you.
There is a story that we have already lived. That story inside of us has brought us to the place we are now. It is our personal contrast and it is time to create and live its opposite in the most thriving ways. Will you?
Past fears, insecurities and anxiety within the self trigger our erroneous assessments and inadequacies that revert to external comparisons with the lives of others. I reiterate, start small. Find a still moment. A quite place with a pen and a piece of paper, your lap top, mobile device or another form of recording your words. Allow them to flow out of you. Can you?
Self-reflection takes time. It requires a commitment to stop judging yourself first and foremost. You will meet the first several attempts with resistance. Please keep in mind the letters “RE” start off the word “resistance”. This is an opportunity to push through those moments and practice. Re-peat and practice. I compare this to learning how to meditate, the first several attempts to quite the mind and body are met with great difficulty because it has become a physical and emotional state that we are not consciously familiar with.
We live so much in our heads, and what I mean by this is in our own thoughts. (We have over 50,000 thoughts per day and most of them are repetitive) We repeat those thoughts and attach emotions to them. Often those emotions are uncomfortable. Our bodies learn how to counter this discomfort by seeking a temporary solution. We know this all too well from the quick rush of dopamine that we feel when something external causes us to be happy. Yet this is only a quick fix that only induces the perpetuating of the same pattern, an external source to bring on those feelings.
Ask, Why. Why do we do the things that we do, and also not do? Why haven’t we asked ourselves why? How many things are we unconsciously doing and participating in with out knowing why we are doing them? The word “why” demands that we take responsibility for ourselves, our actions and our growth. Dig into your life story thus far, the deep inner-story. The one that you have lived, and the one that you have chosen to tell. We may tell ourselves that story one way on the inside, but share it outwardly with the world in a very different way. Hmmm, sound familiar? Why do we continue to perpetuate this?
Transparency brings healing. Our personal stories hold a struggle that we have had to over come. Write that story and share it. That story is the portal to another persons’s inspiration to start their path of growth and change. Contrast is a mirror. There have never been so many creative outlets for sharing than ever before. The Internet and technology has made this so easy and efficient. (Need help, reach out to me and I will get you started!)
I believe that the intervention for personal growth and change happens when we are open to examine, share and rewrite our story. To reflect on it, relive it, release it and retell how it has brought us to this point of transition. We humans put so much expectation on the outcome of things that we often miss the entire process.
Perhaps you too will find JC’s quote seeking you now – “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”