Today’s Reverb15 prompt comes from Cindy Mearns:
“As each year progresses, we unknowingly gather many thoughts, beliefs, and patterns to us. In fact, what we are carrying may have been passed down to us from previous generations.
Looking at the thoughts and patterns that may be holding you back from living the life you want, trace back through the generations of your family and see if your beliefs originated generations ago.
In 2016, how can you bring healing to these patterns of thought that are holding you back?”
While this is a fascinating prompt that I understand and appreciate the value of, I’m going to approach it in a rather roundabout way…
For the last couple years part of my spiritual practice has been examining all the stories I carry – all the things I tell myself about who I am and what has happened in my life. My guidance has always been very clear – let go of the stories.
I can hear some of you gasping – what would that mean? Wouldn’t I lose the very things that are important to me? And I can very truthfully answer – no. You don’t lose the experience. You lose the emotional charge around it. And then the experience becomes pure. It’s like you get to see it wholly, without being pulled off to one side or one perspective or one chosen position for viewing.
But it’s also true we’re very invested in our stories. We think they give us meaning. We’re reluctant to let them go, and especially the ones we use to define ourselves.
But consider what it would be like to simply not tell your story any more. To get more and more free of the ways you think you have to define yourself because of the stories you tell about who you are. Can’t you feel the freedom in that?
I think that’s really what it means to be in the now moment. Not tied to a past perspective, nor projecting yourself forward into the imagined future, but simply being who you are in this moment, authentically meeting the moment in your current state of being.
Or perhaps we can just let the story go and just stay current with who we are.
Earlier this year I had another awareness about how to approach this releasing of the story – how to hone in on what’s going on, and this seems particularly applicable to what Cindy has suggested in her prompt. Just like the adage “follow the money trail” when you’re trying to unravel a complicated knot of what’s going really going on in certain situations; I’ve given myself a couple paths to follow when looking at patterns of belief and the stories around them. I look at “what’s the fear” and “where’s the judgment.”
It seems to me that all the stories and beliefs and thoughts that confine us are based in fear and judgment. I have no doubt they originated in an effort to protect us in some manner, at some point, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking at them and dismantling them if that’s what we choose.
I’ve been playing with this for years now, and it’s interesting to see how my understanding and approaches have evolved over time. Way back in autumn 2009 I blogged about releasing the old stories. I happened to re-find the post today when I was searching through blog tags looking for something else. But I think what I said back then rings true today, and offers some ideas about how to approach releasing. I invite you to check it out if you’re inspired.
But in any case, I’m curious about what you think – do tell, you know I love to hear. And check out how others are responding to this prompt here.
Deborah! Yes to being familiar with our stories and then releasing them. Yes to not being attached. Hurray for being freed from them. But it takes years. Perhaps the release is never entirely completed. Yes to following the fear and judgment! You are such a wise woman!
One of the images that’s been turning up strongly for me recently is The Clan of the Wise Women. I wonder how that will unfold in 2016. Before popping in here, I was just over at your site and read your response to this prompt. I’m over-the-top inspired to explore using your how-howlings framework. How fabuluous.
Oh goodness yes. I’ve had to let go. I was caught in this never-ending cycle of questioning everything I believed because of earlier influences of my father in my life. I finally had to let it go and say – today is a new day and what I believe is because I myself believe this. That is just a snippet of course and everyone has a different thought on that. But that is mine. Releasing has been a saving grace in my life. 🙂
It’s such an empowering stance isn’t it – knowing we’re sovereign, knowing we don’t have to hang on to things that aren’t serving us.
A Wholehearted Yes to letting go of those stories that aren’t serving us. A Wholehearted Yes to saying this is just a story and I am in control of it. Thank you for adding in this perspective as well, Deborah.
What a wonderful prompt for us to reflect upon Cindy – thank you.
This is an interesting thing to posit, Deborah, that I honestly hadn’t considered before. It’s particularly timely as I’m launching into new life, in a new place, without most of the things that have defined me in the past.
It’s appealing too. The contrarian in me has grown increasingly bothered by the “tell your story” mantra that seems to have become all the rage in some marketing circles. Ironically, under the guise of authentic, these folks seem to have become not so much so.
I’ll consider how such an approach may enhance my reality as I delve into the process of writing a new chapter in my life. Thanks for the insight and thought-provoking post.
Oh Nanette, I can feel the spaciousness of possibility. Wishing you lots of ease and grace as you begin this new chapter, and much much joy.
Beautifully said. I would add that when the stories are released, things become very quiet!
And I might add, quiet in a very very good way. 🙂