Are you facing the facts or telling a story?
Posted on July 30 2017
I am a victim. Someone did something horrible to me. My life has been full of hardships. We have all told ourselves stories about our life situations at some point. A divorce situation could involve a betrayal, which turned into intense unhappiness, dramatic weight gain, loss of friendships and in turn led someone to tell a story about lacking self worth and a willingness to continue to live. An accident could have led to a broken body which then led to a significant loss of income, an increase in debt and the eventual story of being physically and financially ruined for all of eternity.
Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, “I am ruined” is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. “I have 50 cents left in my bank account” is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering. Eckhart Tolle
If there is one thing that Life guarantees us, it’s that “things” will always happen. As one life ends in a corner of the world, another one is beginning on the opposite end. As one person loses their job, another person is accepting an offer. As a couple says “I do”, another is saying “I don’t”. Life is filled with events that we have chosen to label “good” or “bad”, the interesting thing is that Life sees these things as neither –they just are. There are the things that are happening and there are the stories we choose to tell about those things. Maybe the stories give us purpose, meaning and understanding; perhaps they give us a “why” in the midst of confusion and uncertainty.
When we feel that someone has hurt us, or something has happened to us, it is easier to hold on to the story of why, how and everything that happens as a result of what we went through. We weave that story into our identity and we hold on to that identity with every ounce of our being. When we meet someone, we can’t wait to share that story–it is after all who we are (we tell ourselves). Even if it’s a story of survival, it’s still a story that we identify strongly with which means most of the time, we’re operating from a space of separation, the survivor and us. Whatever Life throws at us might impact us but it doesn’t get to own all of us.
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. Eckart Tolle
I have always had an idea of how things should be in my life. There’s a lot of perfection involved. Even my challenging moments are perfectly challenging. In the past, when things haven’t gone my way, I’ve bemoaned that Life was working against me. I was a good person, I worked on myself and had a strong conscience. If I did all of those things, if I was all of those things, the bargain with Life was that there would be no hardships. My moment of consciousness came when I realized that things weren’t happening to me. There is no separation between me and Life. The same energy that runs this world, runs through me. As things happen in Life, they happen in me.
People leave. Jobs end. Friendships end. People act out. We act out. Things will happen.
There are things that happen and the stories we tell about those things. Maybe it’s time to lighten the load a little, see these things exactly as they are –things that come and go, things that teach us about ourselves, things that touch us but don’t break us. Letting go of the story doesn’t make us less of who we are –no thing has that power.