Daily InspirationYour emotions are a great gift, letting you know when you are on track or off track in your thinking and behavior, or when you need to attend to what is happening with a person or situation. Today, practice learning what your painful emotions are telling you, rather than avoiding them with your various addictions. By Dr. Margaret Paul
The Miracle of Letting Go of My StoriesBy Phyllis Stein
November 19, 2010
The stories we tell ourselves have enormous power to keep us unhappy and disconnected. The truth is that the truth will set you free.
I have written many columns about the importance of our stories (including, as I discovered looking back over the list, one literally entitled "The Importance of Our Stories.") I have written about how the story that I was telling myself that I had failed God's test kept me from connecting with God's love. I have written about how the story I told my little girl that something bad was happening to my ex-husband kept her in despair, etc. I have written about letting go of victimhood. You would think, I would think, I had really gotten it. But in the Inner Bonding process, we do get it until we get to the NEXT level.
This past summer, I let go of two of my biggest stories ever. They concerned the end of my marriage, fuel for many of my columns. The first story that I told myself and others over and over was that I was married and was supposed to stay that way, and that another woman who used to be my friend suddenly destroyed my marriage and ended up with my husband. In that story I was the victim and something terrible happened to me. The second story was that even if my husband and I were supposed to split up, because in fact we were completely stuck, it should not have happened THAT way. We should have had the chance to fight for our marriage and take it down "naturally."
I will not bore you with how I got there except to say that at least part of me really did want to let go of these stories but did not know how. One day it suddenly no longer mattered who did what to whom. I saw that each of us played our role in a drama that had happened. Each of us saw exactly what we wanted to see at the time, including me. Each of us was acting from our woundedness and perhaps from our destiny. I was no longer a victim, just someone playing my part equally with everyone else. That alone was huge. But the biggest revelation came immediately after that. It was this. If what I really wanted more than anything was to grow spiritually and emotionally (true), there was no reason for my husband and me to stay married ANOTHER MINUTE because I was not growing anymore and would not grow until I got out of that system. More than that, the stress of the marriage would have destroyed my health.
So, in an instant, I completely let go of these stories. You know the expression "carrying that cross?" Well, I had been carrying a heavy cross and I did not even know how heavy it had been. The physical relief of letting go of the stories, of no longer feeling like a victim, of no longer blaming anyone was unbelievable! I had no idea how continuously the stories were affecting my life. I have written about the friendship that has grown between my ex and me, but now it is no problem for me to be around both of them. There is no longer a story to cause me pain.
So, I was asking myself, have I replaced my stories with better stories? Yes, in the sense that I told myself something else, but no, this is different. What is different is that actually there is no story running in my head about these things. I think that is what happened, instantly, when I told myself the true story. In the presence of the truth, the story stopped completely and I was left feeling peaceful and deeply changed. I notice this more and more. As I continue to do Inner Bonding, my mind gets quieter and quieter as the stories drop out.
As I write this I notice that there has been an amazing trade off. I know that people often use meditation techniques to quiet their minds so that they can connect with spirit but I could never do that for very long or very well. I felt vaguely inadequate about that. But now, as I let go of my stories, a quiet mind has become more automatic. In this quiet state, surprisingly, without my having to do anything, the connection just happens. I guess spirit was talking to me all along, but the telling of the stories made too much noise.
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