What’s your story? Do you really know? Strangely most of us don’t. We understand the basic shape of our history of course, but very few of us deeply understand the details and how we are still living in their echoes and under their influence.
Many people are reluctant to take a look. Often for fear of what they will feel and find. Often because they think it seems self indulgent or pointless - it happened, I can’t change it, what’s the point dredging up old stuff?
I also notice a lot of rhetoric out there preaching that “you are not your story” encouraging us to rise above our past and craft a new reality for ourselves. In essence this is of course true. We are not the things that happened to us.
You also ARE your story. Your history. Your upbringing. Your childhood. Your traumas. So am I. They are etched into our subconscious with (almost) indelible ink. And you simply cannot build a new future, be present, or access your True Self when the brain and body is still saturated with the old emotions and thought patterns of the past. Where we come from defines and dictates the way we think, see, perceive and experience EVERYTHING and everyone. Including ourselves.
To access our Original Self we must explore our story. We often talk about healing as a process of peeling layers. I believe it is more like a process of peeling back pages. We must read ourselves in reverse to come to understand deeply - with the heart not the head - how we are, and why.
From this place, many of the insecurities and fears and false beliefs that have held us hostage begin to simply fall away because we come to realise WHY we carry them ... and that they were never ours to begin with. They lose the power they once had.
I often say we have to feel it to heal it. But feel what? Many of us have NO IDEA why we struggle with our relationships, low self esteem, depression, anxiety, or addiction (to name a few). I didn’t. We think that there is something wrong with us. But there isn’t. Something happened to us. Maybe many things. If we don’t know why we are the way we are, how do we know what to feel to heal?
My experience is that until we connect, not just intellectually, but emotionally, with what those things were, the grief and rage and cleansing pain that the body is desperate to release - remain locked away, or at best, only partially accessed, and we will continue to be symptomatic in one way or another.
My experience is also that it is almost impossible to see all our subconscious and self defeating patterns until we understand how our past has programmed us.
How can we stop doing something before we’ve seen it? How can we shape new beliefs until we have identified the old ones? How can I love myself fully if I haven’t seen myself completely? True compassion for self is to be found in courageously exploring our story.
It is not about looking for problems where there were none, portioning blame or pointing fingers. It is simply about understanding ourselves and that we are not faulty or failing. We are hurting, and our ‘issues’ are symptoms of something.
Ultimately the unaffected Soul Self is to be found back at the beginning. It is a rediscovery. Not something we need to manifest, vision, or create. We don’t need to work towards being more ‘well’. We simply need to reclaim the person that got lost along the way and pull them out from under the pages.
My experience is that you cannot just bypass all the bruises and wounds that need tending to by trying to foster new habits, behave better, pray it away or think your way past it all because “it’s not who you are”. It is. And to reject ourselves and attempt to silence the history that is trying to speak through us and to us, wouldn’t be a very loving thing to do to ourselves in any case. Our symptoms are asking for our stories to be heard. We need to start listening.
It is vital to understand that this process is not a quick bit one time practice. It is a journey.
I have gone back to explore my story 6 times over the last 9 years. Every time has been a different experience, a deeper experience. Each gentle investigation revealed more, healed more. My perspective ever changing. My awareness ever evolving. The pages of pain unfolding me as I unfold myself, realising what happened, releasing what happened ... and ultimately reclaiming mySelf.
Exploring our story doesn’t mean we become attached to it or victimised by it. Quite the contrary. It allows us to liberate ourselves from it. Recognising how we WERE victims of this broken world allows us to foster internal boundaries and cease to be victimised by the damage it imprinted upon us. Exploring our story emotionally, rather than academically, allows the body to begin to release what got stuck decades ago. We reclaim ourselves and the power that we always were.
In exploring our story we get to script a twist in the narrative, rather than being unconsciously driven towards its previously inevitable end. Our life, quite simply, becomes our own.
What happened to you? Do you know yet? Are you ready to deep dive back between the pages? Are you ready to listen to what your history has to say? What’s your story?
Are you ready to explore your story or dive back deeper between the pages?
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