The Story! Oh, how we like to listen to our thoughts and let them write a full story about someone else, a situation, or even ourselves. I know this myself in various situations of my life, be it the trauma, the health challenges (even those of late) and the relationships gone and forgotten. It spins around us like a spider capturing its prey.
It creates unfair judgment against ourselves and that’s where we find the limiting self-beliefs. When we can look at the thoughts with open awareness, presence, acceptance and non-judgment, we stop the story in its tracks. Mindfulness is key here, not just in meditation, but in my everyday life makes that difference in how I see everything.
When we find ourselves in judgment, and remember guilt goes hand in hand with judgment, we begin creating a story about the situation that faces us. This situation may be with another person, your work organization, political figures, and of course your own mind. When you can release the story, you are in fact forgiving what you have “written.” Always invoke a Divine Source to assist you with this process. Take time to meditate or pray before you begin, so you can receive the full benefit.
Letting Go of Your Story Exercise
The stories that we repeatedly tell ourselves about our lives, others, and the world can
be very limiting and inaccurate. Identifying and then letting go of our stories can often
be quite liberating. It can also open us to new directions and possibilities in our lives.
• Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed and have time to reflect.
• Ask yourself, “What stories about myself or the world do I believe that keep me
from being happy, trying new things, and doing what I really want?”
• In order to discover your stories, think about how you introduce yourself to people
or explain your actions, emotions, and history.
• Once you have identified your story (or one of them), notice how it feels in your
body when you believe it.
• Also notice what thoughts arise when you believe this story.
• Now, ask yourself who created this story and if it is accurate.
• Begin to imagine what it would feel like if you didn’t believe this story, and see
how it feels to let go of it, for even a moment.
• Observe how this feels in your body and mind.
• Ask yourself what you would do differently if you didn’t believe this story.
• Throughout the day, whenever you are upset, ask yourself, “What story am I believing right now?” Examine whether this story is really true or if it is limiting and negatively affecting you.
Changing or letting go of one’s story is commonly practiced in psychotherapy and some meditative and religious traditions. The method presented here was adapted from a practice created by James Baraz in his book Awakening Joy.
Letting go of your story can be difficult, especially if it has existed for many years. Be patient when working to let go of your story and remember to practice great self-compassion throughout this exercise.
Also, it is not necessary to let go of your entire story. Just identifying and questioning the limiting parts of your story that do not help you is beneficial.
If you are having difficulty letting go of your story, begin by just considering the possibility of letting it go and see how this feels in your body and mind.
The story is just that, a story written to save the face of our ego. The ego is the fearful thought system that derives its pleasure from our suffering. Can you see how the story you wrote caused suffering in your mind and in your life? Are you ready to let go of this story?
By the liberation of rolling up the scroll on that story and tossing it into the fire, we can see how the paper turns to ashes and the ashes arise skyward and symbolically into Heaven. The fire, the Light of Awareness, gifts us with a clearer mind and a sense of peace.
If you need assistance in releasing your story, you can work with me in Transformational Mindfulness Coaching and we can do so together. Learn more here.