Are you aware of what you are carrying around?
We’ve all known that person that just can’t seem to get “it”—everyone else sees “it”, but this person simply has no clue. Why? Why doesn’t a person see something about themselves or what they think when every person around them sees it, or a version of it?
It comes down to personal awareness. We are all living a version of life we concocted in our brains based on our experiences and thought patterns and what we were told was “truth” during our formative years as a sponge of information. All those years as a sponge were indiscriminate. We believed equally what our parents told us, teachers told us, friends told us—with virtually equal weight—and we made deep internal agreements about that information. A lot of “truth” according to other people got stored deep in the memory banks, cemented by internal agreements, and for many people, all that warehouse of data and agreements goes unchallenged, unquestioned. After all, that blindly accepted “truth” is part of our core foundation. To question that information is, well, challenging at 20, scarier at 30, frightening at 40, and downright pulse-stopping at 50…. You wake up one morning and the question is there: “What if everything I believe blindly is a lie?”
“Humans are storytellers. It is our nature to make up stories, to interpret everything we perceive. Without awareness, we give our personal power to the story and the story writes itself. With awareness, we recover the control of our story. We see we are the authors and if we don’t like our story, we change it.”
― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Facing the possibility that the foundation on which our lives are built is a pack of cards is daunting, but the most terrifying moment comes just before the moment we decide to take a peek. In other words, the terror is not sustained…it dissipates as we realize that the entire foundation is not rotten. Maybe a cracked window here, rusty doorknob there, and after a few adjustments and repairs to logic we find that our house isn’t as bad as we secretly feared.
A powerful way to discover the internal agreements and beliefs is to pay attention to the situations where you are triggered. These moments can lead to a gold mine. Anytime you encounter such a gem, journal about all the reasons you are triggered and why. Then go deeper. And deeper. Don’t stop until the words you’re writing are a 3-4 word sentence. This is the really good foundational stuff to question—the toddler agreements. Can’t believe you think that? (pssst…you do. that’s why you wrote it.)
Once you find those agreements, you are empowered to change them. Your mind is a powerful storyteller—change the story to one you prefer and put your awesome brain to work telling it over and over again. Pretty soon, your new story becomes the only story you ever knew, and you can’t even believe you ever told a different one. You are the storyteller of your life. Tell an interesting one.