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Moving beyond our story

Moving beyond our story

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by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
July 12, 2019

When something happens in life that we are not happy about or might even be embarrassed about, we create a story. We are wired for stories. Our brains want and need them to protect us from pain and from being hurt again in the future. The mind wants a hero, a victim, and a villain. Have you ever been text messaging with someone, and the three dots pop up and then disappear, and no text message comes through? Then you made up a story?

Mistakes will occur in life; there will be uncomfortable moments; changes will happen either chosen by you or not chosen by you. You will discover things about yourself, which may have previously been hidden or unbeknownst to you. These are the blind spots that your close friends notice about you and mirror back to you which you may not have seen. Protective barriers which while serving the purpose in providing the payoff of keeping you protected, also have a cost associated with them such as loss of love, affinity, and deep connection.

Maybe you dropped the ball on a project or didn’t train enough for that century ride and couldn’t finish as expected. Then you created a story about it and collapsed that story with what happened when they are two separate things. Your story about it didn’t happen; what happened is what happened. When you own your story, you can see, wow this is a story I am telling myself or have been telling myself for years, and it’s not my Truth.

Imagine two circles with one circle representing what happened, and the other circle representing your story about what happened. Now bring those two circles together until they are side by side. Bring the circles closer together until they are slightly overlapping, and you have an almond shape right in the middle of the two joined circles.

This little almond shape represents the suffering created by the collapsing of what happened with your story about what happened. As insignificant as it seems, this suffering stops you in your tracks, prevents you from experiencing the love, joy, affinity, bliss, and deep connection with others, which is inherently yours.

The invitation is to separate the two, own the story you have created, realize that it is a story which got you to where you are today but will not get you to where you are going. Bless it and be thankful for it reminding you of whom you used to be. Be gentle with yourself as you own the story and begin to release it, as it was you who created this story in the first place. It served a great purpose to your health and well-being, and now it is no longer needed.

As you own the story you’ve been telling yourself about that experience, the story becomes like a house of cards in a windstorm and disintegrates as it no longer owns you.

And so it is.

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

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