12 May 2019

WHAT ARE YOUR STORIES?


^^ Background image by Javier Allegue Barros, via Unsplash ^^

As I write this post, I am in two minds whether or not to press 'publish' because it is making me feel a little fear, but I figure that is all the more reason to make it live. Fear has been a dominating factor throughout most of my life so I am trying to laugh in the face of it and tell my ‘truth’ to you guys more and more as I discover it (understand also that I am constantly learning so these thoughts are just what is whirling within my own mind, and I am not an expert!).

Recently I have been chatting on Instagram to Adam Palmer, an online coach and mentor, about my business and other interesting spiritual bits and bobs, and one of his responses to something I said really sparked a ripple in my head that niggled away for days. He had been talking to me about the fact that we all have stories from our past experiences that affect us, and naturally have an impact on our lives, and how it is easy to get ‘stuck’ in them. In some form or another we have all heard this before, and I am pretty sure I have even written a post on it, but there was something about how Adam put it that triggered my mind to really dig away at it.

We all have our own stories that dominate our thoughts and actions, some can even be how we introduce ourselves to other people, because the stories are so strong within us that we feel they are us. Do you know what yours are?

On a really raw level these are the three main stories that have stuck with me throughout my life and examples of how they map out how I live my life through them when I hold them close to me as my current truth:

Story one: I used to be much larger than I am now

Story two: I left school before I took any GCSE’s

Story three: I spent most of my life with hardly any confidence or self-esteem

One of the big things that hit me this week was how, if we introduce our old stories as part of who we are in the present day, we allow them to stick around, grow in size and strength and we can even start to bend our behaviour to fit them, and prove them to be real. For example, if you are still hiding behind the version of yourself that barely has any confidence, you may tell someone you meet that you are shy or have little self esteem, and as a result of that you may make them see you as anxious and perhaps they will continue to ask you if you are you okay or even question your ability to do something because of the story you have told them. This, in turn, can lead to a resurgence of past emotions for you, and ultimately manifest the old behaviours and feelings, leading you to be that way with that person every time you meet. The reason I know that is because I have done it, a lot, and until very recently. 

There is a grey area here of course, and that is that we will all revisit old patterns, old feelings and emotional behaviours and will genuinely be 'back with them' for days at a time. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone how you are feeling in these times either, because it is totally valid, but there is a difference between telling them ‘...today I am feeling...’ to telling someone ‘...I am the kind of person who always...’, do you see the difference here? Temporary verses permanent.

I hope that makes sense. It’s the difference between living ‘in’ your stories and occasionally ‘feeling’ an emotion that may be attached to a story; they should be different things.


^^ Background image by Constellate, via Unsplash ^^

It’s important to realise that is is okay to move on and to change as a person, which is what has happened/is happening to me, and to understand that it’s actually okay to leave old things behind. I have got so attached to my stories because they had such huge impacts on me, that is why they are so ingrained. But after talking with Adam, his comments to me made me realise that those things aren’t how I am seen by new people in my life and I actually realised how shocked I can be when people explain how they see me and describe me outside of my own perception. Then I had this massive epiphany of ‘...oh my goodness, I’m not that person anymore, it’s just who I was and not who I am now’.

What Adam did, I have come to realise, is not dive into the old stories, he just saw current day Lucy and didn’t entertain the other stuff in a way that allowed it to be a part of the current conversation. What that did was force the Lucy I am right now, and all the new things I have within me, to be the dominant force in the conversation, which brought all of it into the limelight and made me realise that I am so different now to the person I was. Yes, I still suffer my mental health issues, but they aren’t 'me' full time, they are an illness that shows up in various strengths over the course of a year, but I have worked hard on me, and I am proud of that.

So, who are you when you let go of all past stories? What are your strengths, what are your skills, what makes you a bloody fabulous human being? It’s hard to celebrate who you are sometimes, as we hold fear around it due to worry of seeming self important or arrogant, but there is a huge difference. You don’t have to tell the world, just hold all your amazing qualities in your own energy because they will radiate out, focus on the positive things that make you, you, whilst acknowledging the things that have shaped you, because they helped you grow, just don’t put them in the driving seat. Be strong in who you are, forget what everyone else thinks about it, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone and are a kind human being, you are doing fine.

This is my challenge to you right now, as a mini exercise to round up today’s post:

Grab a pen and paper and write down, in anyway you like, what your three main stories are; your ‘go-to’ things that you will tell people about yourself that are based on past events. Next, write what emotions are attached and what behaviours you exhibit from them. After you have done that, ask yourself if that is really who you are now; if the answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’, then maybe you have to do more work on healing that, but still do the next part anyway! If the answer is ‘no’ then write a huge list of all of your amazing qualities; your happiest moments, the things you do that makes you the incredible human you are or, if you are struggling to do this, list the positive, lovely things that other people tell you about yourself.

Start to transform how you see yourself and the moment you are living in and things will shift. They may feel a bit uncomfortable for a while because our past is a safe place for us, even if it’s not very nice, whereas moving forward and evolving can be super challenging (but SO worth it).

I hope this little mind dump sparked something in you, because it was significant for me! Head over to Adams Instagram if you are interested in seeing more about what he does as a coach, I highly recommend him.

As usual, let me know your thoughts by leaving a little comment or popping over to Instagram and having a chat (that is where I hang out the most!).
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