Stories are fundamental to the human experience. Stories help us understand our place in the world. They help us learn how to act wisely and they shape our perspectives of the world.
Stories can be found not only in what we tell each other; they can be found in our subconscious thoughts.
The stories that we tell ourselves can lift us up or they can push us down. Stories can be a source of mental and emotional stress. They can create tension, wrinkles, and negative moods. And stories can also keep us from healing.
The other day Karen was in for her regular appointment and she shared with me that she’s becoming aware of what has been a blind spot for her. She shared with me that she’s slowly realizing that she’s gotten so used to paying attention to pain over the years that now in order to pay attention to her body, she has to feel pain.
She has noticed a pattern of accidents and injuries, from stubbing her toe to overworking herself with chores around the house and garden. She’s noticed that there are no other times when she pays attention to her body other than when she’s hurting.
The power of the stories that we tell ourselves is such that in order to maintain a consistent story, we bend reality to fit the story. We will subvert, circumvent, lie, and avoid in order to be consistent with our stories.
For example, another patient was sharing with me that while she was out with other parents minding each other’s children, she got lost. While lying on the table she exasperatingly said “I don’t want to always be the weak link in the chain!”.
The stories we tell ourselves affect how we interpret an experience. If your story is that you always mess up, then even when you don’t really mess up, you’ll tend to see yourself messing up anyways. This is a painful way to go about your life.
Having a more empowering story starts with becoming aware of the stories that are running our lives. Some may be more energizing than others. It’s for us to really see the stories that are deflating us, defeating us and creating a neutral or even negative life experience.
The new story doesn’t have to be figured out. In fact it’s best if you allow it to come to you. It can come to you through a moment of inspiration. It can come to you in a moment of vulnerability, self-honesty or humility.
Often when we are not able to feel vulnerable, it’s because we don’t feel safe, physically or emotionally.
One of the gifts of Neuro-Structural care is that we’re more able to feel vulnerable and at the same time, feel safe. It’s a powerful combination that brings us to a place where we don’t need the story anymore. The story might have been there to protect us or to minimize who we really are.
We have the capacity within us to become aware of the stories that are holding us back and to inspire ourselves to find new, uplifting stories: ones that don’t just improve our own lives but everyone’s around us.