Saturday, January 2, 2010
Releasing Your Negative Story
Perhaps you've noticed people love to tell their "stories." By a story I mean a “litany of sorrows.” Perhaps you've even done this yourself.
They'll list their current problems or history of hurts. They may label or identify themselves by one of these injuries: "I am a recovering Catholic." "My husband left me." "I am an abuse survivor." And on the litany goes. It seems very important that we (as the listener) understand all the pain and suffering they’ve been subjected to throughout their lives.
ego self desiring to be acknowledged, to be heard. The ego likes attention, even thrives on pity. It sends out broadcast after broadcast, urging us to speak our litany of sorrows aloud to whomever we need to bring closer to us. By speaking our litany, we receive a payoff of some kind. Perhaps it’s an, “I’m so sorry you had to go through that,” a hug, or perceived acceptance.
Granted, an initial expression of our litany can foster healing when we've been hurt; understanding, even compassion on the part of others. But to repeat our negative stories again and again may not. Instead, we create a prison of our own making. By continually reliving our negative stories, we may disempower ourselves. We stay small, trapped in hurt, unable to embody a bright, new version of ourselves.
Reliving our negative stories also causes low vibration feelings to predominate. As we re-experience the bad feelings associated with our history, our vibration may spiral downward. If we focus on these feelings we have no energy to think higher, or to move ahead. Low-vibration thoughts and feelings take us nowhere. Again, we find ourselves stuck.
I have come to identify this process as “running your tape.” Running our tape, telling the same pain-filled story over and over again, is nothing more than an Ego Broadcast. Nothing more than a blast from a noisy inner radio station that wants your attention, and the attention (and sympathy) of others. There must come a time when each of us begins to choose differently. We can say to our ego and its broadcast, “No thanks. I’m choosing something better for myself!”
Making a new choice such as this is a profound moment of awakening. Now, we can begin to choose our happiness, our inner peace, our joy. We de-select being a victim, listening to the tape, reciting the litany of sorrows, and by doing so, we choose LIFE. We are now choosing who we want to be in the next moment, instead of it being chosen for us.
For our healing and growth in the Spirit, we must choose to let go of anything that keeps us disconnected from our spirit selves, especially our litany of sorrows. Our spirit’s (and the Divine's) greatest desire is for us to be physically and emotionally free to be all that we can be. Perhaps, for you, dear reader, that time has come. So here are the steps for letting go, very simply put:
Become the Observer
Begin to notice the thoughts that you’re thinking. Pay attention to the tape that is running in your mind, the one that causes you to relive your story of hurt and pain. Notice how bad you feel when you listen to that story. Notice how the low vibration of remembering and repeating the story affects the quality of your daily life. Is it keeping you angry, bitter or drained?
Uncover Why You Are Running Your Tape
Be honest with yourself and ask: What is it I’m hoping to gain by telling my story again? What is the payoff for me? Do I want someone to like me, to feel sorry for me, or give me affection? Hold yourself in compassion while you are discerning this. This is a very big step toward disconnecting from the ego and its power over you.
Make a New Choice
Acknowledge the tape that is running about your story, then choose to release it. Admit that holding onto it might be keeping you from moving forward. Then, let it go. Continue to notice when the tape is running (anytime you have a strong urge to speak your litany to someone), then make a conscious decision not to speak it in that moment. Again, let it go.
In time, this process will get easier. The temptation to speak your woundedness will come less and less often as you keep your vibration infused with positive new thoughts and feelings, focusing on the good choices you are making for yourself.
It requires a strong commitment to live as our truest selves, especially when we have been governed (up until now) by our human operating system, by the ego and its negative orientation. Personal happiness, meaningful work, success, true love, are latent within each of us, housed in our Spirit identity. The key to bringing them up to the surface of our being so they are more prominent in our everyday lives requires vigilance. We must continually become the observer of our own thoughts and feelings, then make appropriate choices to reorient ourselves toward thoughts, feelings, and actions that align us with our highest selves, the Divine, and others. We must choose Spirit again and again.
When we do, life is no longer a frustrating game, but a Spirit-filled adventure in BECOMING.
As always, I welcome your thoughts ...
And in 2010, may you release any story that might be keeping you from living as YOUR truest self!
You're invited! Beginning Sunday, January 3 at my other blog, Awake Is Good, I'll be hosting a 28-Day Meditation Challenge.
If you are someone who has struggled with meditation, or has difficulty staying faithful to the process, join our virtual sangha for tips, insights, and support. I"ll have special guest experts, book giveaways, a timely free teleconference, and more!
Stillness and greater inner peace can be yours. It's just a click away!