Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Stories We Hold On To
A couple of things have happened lately that have got me thinking about "our stories". The stories that we tell and believe about our lives. Not that the stories are wrong, they just no longer may be the whole truth and those stories, or beliefs, may no longer be serving us well.
I was talking to a friend the other day who went through a painful separation and divorce. They were high school sweethearts and had been married for about 26 years. That's been about seven years ago. She was relating to me a story of how she had just ran into their neighbors from eons ago and she told her story about how he had left her. She told them this story while standing in the grocery store. Now I say this with utmost compassion for her pain and I am not trying to minimize it at all. I just wander if she, or any of us, are well-served by continuing to tell our stories in the same old way?
It made me think about the roles we cast for ourselves and especially how we show ourselves to other people. I know that I've been overly tied to my "story" - to being wronged, neglected, over-taxed, etc. It was how I packaged myself. I didn't realize HOW tied I was to my own personal narrative until I was writing for some recovery work and attempted to tell just the events of my life WITHOUT my editorial comment. It was hard for me to do. My explanations for things became as important as the events themselves. The things that happened are true, however, continuing to paint my future with the colors of the past no longer serves me well. It is not a denial, but a letting it go. Of looking at things in a new way, from a new perspective.
I believe we see what we want to see and that our story or narrative is like putting on a pair of glasses that only allows us to see things a certain way. I don't want to find myself saying "this always happens to me" or "just more of the same" - it's a self-perpetuating thing, I think. I believe we bring into being the things we focus on the most. If my focus is that of victim, then all I see is more ways that I am victimized.
Enough with the navel-gazing.
Yesterday was a much more peaceful day. Work is insane - the auditors are crawling all over the place - and I had a conference call that lasted forever, so no time to go to the gym at lunch. I did, however, go outside for a walk. If one stayed in the shade, it was tolerable. Luckily, I was bare-legged in a skirt rather than in full-on business regalia, so that was rather nice. And while my shoes weren't athletic, I was able to comfortably walk about for nearly forty minutes. The mental break was as important as the physical one.
Food was very light yesterday. Wasn't particularly hungry after the prior evening's foodfest.
I'm prepping for the potluck I'm hosting on Saturday night. I still don't have a clue as to whether I will have enough chairs, but there is always floor cushions, right? I'm looking forward to it. I'm also attending a lecture on "quantum physics for dummies". I hope the for dummies part is true, otherwise I shall be very, very lost.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Is there a part of your story that you are ready to let go of?