Our lives are made up of so many stories. Many of them are related to an experience that was not so pleasant or didn’t work out the way we had hoped. These particular types of stories have a way of becoming a runaway train. Consuming every moment of the day and every conversation. Unfortunately when that happens we’re avoiding what is really underneath the story. Something we don’t want to feel or some truth we don’t want to acknowledge.
Think about the story that is running in your life right now. Is there one particular story you keep telling over and over again either to yourself, or to others, that brings you suffering? Are you stuck in a story about your life and if so, are you willing to look beyond the story for the answers and tell the truth to yourself?
Sometimes telling a story can help with our healing process and sometimes we can actually have realizations about the experience as we tell the story. But telling the story over and over keeps us stuck in a cycle of suffering and it becomes a cover up for what is really wanting our attention.
When you are mindful you can begin to notice if you are repeating a particular story and then simply stop telling the story and investigate what is truly underneath the story.
Maybe the story you are currently telling is related to something that happened in the past or something about the future. When you begin to peel away the layers of ‘the story’ the emotion that is sitting at the core of the story is usually related to some kind of fear. Recognizing that your story is grounded in fear can often be a great catalyst that moves us towards change. However, when you begin to become absorbed in the story and let it rule your life then it’s time to give yourself permission to look beyond the story. To feel the emotion you may be avoiding. We all have the ability to meet our pain but it is the story we continue to tell that actually brings us suffering.
Imagine if just for a day we could move through life without labeling the emotions that are generated by our stories. Of course, that would mean dropping the story you have been telling and simply feeling the emotion in your body. Find a quiet relaxing place in your home or office or in nature, sit in silence and be still. Silence is an amazing teacher. Take the time to locate where this feeling is in your body and don’t label the emotion, let it be present without the urge to push it away. All this emotion really wants is to be welcomed, and have its time with you. Be honest with yourself and inquire into the energy of the emotion. What does it feel like? Ask yourself what is at the core of this energy source?
You might naturally begin to label it and the labels can be endless. Sometime when you bring awareness to this emotion and shine a light on it, it can result in some form of emotional release. When we stay open to the emotion that is present without resisting or dramatizing it there is an opportunity to discover there is something else at the very core of all emotions. Check it out and see for yourself.
Emotions are subject to change. They come and go. But if you choose to look deeper into the core of this feeling you may discover the answer you have been truly seeking. Listen to the stories your family and friends tell and look beyond the story. You may start to see others for who they really are and open to compassion when you can know what truly is beyond any story.
Make a practice to be mindful over the next several days about a story you may be telling and make a conscious decision to drop the story. Simply stop telling it to others and to yourself, be present with whatever arises without labeling it and letting it move through you.
The answers we are seeking are beyond any story we could ever tell. And the truth is the answers we are seeking are not outside of our being they are within. When you live with a mindful approach you can realize there is the potential to bring resolve, end suffering and discover the peace that is always present in any moment in the very core of your being.