Your past is just a story
“Don’t believe yourself. Listen to your story, but don’t believe it because now you know that it’s mostly fiction. When you hear the voice in your head, don’t take it personally. You know that it’s usually lying to you. Listen and ask if it’s speaking the truth or not. Lies can only survive if you believe them. If you don’t believe your own lies, you can make better choices based on truth.”
—Don Miguel Ruiz
We have all heard the old adage that you are what you eat. Far more profound is the truth that your life is a direct reflection of the words you speak—of the stories you tell yourself about who you are, how you got there (e.g., your past), and what you believe to be possible. The stories running through your mind color your perception of the world around you. Ever wonder why two people witnessing the same event have a different recollection? Different perceptions caused by different internal filters taking in the same information, arriving at different conclusions.
If you’ve ever tossed a flower into a stream, only to see it suspended in place, against the current, by some invisible force, you have witnessed a profound insight into what happens to us when we cannot release our past, or our unconscious beliefs about ourselves, or the endless chatter of our “story”, or the hook of what we believe others think of us. Life is flowing all around us, past us, effortlessly gliding on down the stream while we remain tethered in place by an invisible thread.
By setting the intention of listening deeply to our inner thoughts, and paying attention to our state of “being” when we are reacting to a situation, we invite a spotlight that illuminates the source of our invisible tether to the past and unconscious agreements and beliefs. Becoming conscious means hearing the words that you speak in your mind, the stories that you tell about yourself by rote to anyone who will listen—and simply witnessing, not believing. Telling these stories over and over and over reinforces that “truth”, that perception of events, that version of “reality” and makes it seem more and more and more solid and real in our minds, creating the foundation of our life that keeps us where we are–living with the same beliefs and structures that are causing us to live a limited, narrow sliver of probability and repeat patterns in life and relationship again and again.
To expand your spectrum of life possibilities, to remove the invisible threads that keep you stuck where you are, you must become a witness of yourself. You must witness your thoughts and actions and experiences with a curiousness that is open to the potential that what you believe is a lie. That what you think you just experienced didn’t happen the way you think it did. Awareness is the first step towards shifting to a new, more pleasant reality…one you choose for yourself by retraining your brain to think the thoughts you want it to think. The first time you witness yourself telling a lie, and you change it by questioning the thought like a scientist would conduct an experiment, you will detach the invisible thread and begin floating down your river towards a new life of your choosing.