The Narrative

Note to Self:

We tell ourselves that there is a narrative to our life, a story line. We are inundated with narratives all day every day... from the news to the stories we watch constantly on TV and movies.  One of the main components of my awakening was realizing that this narrative I had created about myself didn't really exist. Even the story about who I WAS didn't really exist.. It was my self-created narrative and I could change the story. If you are anything like me you may find yourself doing this all of the time (creating stories), sometimes consciously, but mostly subconsciously. (which, of course, means that it's difficult or impossible to process this though the conscious thinking mind.)

we tell stories about our lives

stories about our relationships
stories about the people we meet
stories about the people we see and don't meet
stories about whats going to happen next
stories about the future
stories about the past
stories about what other people think
etc..

These stories create frames for our life and our identity. These stories may give a temporary sense of comfort, but can also create tons of stress. These stories can also perpetuate traumas and fears from the past that can interfere with current relationships. How many times has a story you told yourself about a person or a situation, (based on judgements or fears) that turned out to be untrue?  


These "frames" are the box I thought I was in that can feel so constricting... it's also the box that I need to think outside of in order to change and grow, and to move past my own fears. These stories are also the lenses through which we see "reality". So why do we have them? I think that these stories and lenses also give us a sense of security and predictability. They tell us that we "know" (even when we don't), that we have some basis for what will happen next. These stories are a creation that partly form the ego in order to make pattern and form and predictability. Unfortunately, the form and predictability that are being created and experienced are coming from a place of fear. The ego will also begin to look for clues and signs to confirm the story. Once enough "evidence" is established, the story goes into the subconscious without further review to be referenced in some future situation.


Here's a basic example that I imagine everyone has probably felt on some level:


You go to a social gathering. Someone else (maybe everyone!) seems richer, smarter, better looking thinner etc.. and you personally are "feeling fat" ...or... "dumb".. or "unsuccessful" on some level. Perhaps you're inner judge comes out and says "they are not so great"...or "I suck". Suddenly, you don't really want to be there. Your body begins to get tense and smiling suddenly starts to feel like a chore. You head for the bar to get some liquid relaxation. 


The truth is many of those same people may feel just the same as you. The truth is this story of unworthiness about myself or them isn't true. It also blocks you from seeing the true person beyond the stories, and having the chance of making a connection or being of service to them in some way... even if it's just a genuine smile that says they're OK too. Through these stories and projections I have built a wall between me and them any chance of a true connection has been temporarily lost. 

(There are probably hundreds of similar stories that can be looked at consciously like this, and many more that we process in a nanosecond at an unconscious level.)

The game of identity is that we find comfort in those who seem most like we are, where we feel worthy to connect or be safe. The truth is we are all more alike than different. These stories are mostly based in identity. 

Young children to a large extent haven't built these stories yet. Most of the happier older people I meet, seem to have quit playing this game altogether. It's easy to see in them both that it's a much happier way to view things.


Just like in the Arts (theater, TV, movies) and music there is tension and resolution in the personal narrative. I think many times we are unconsciously creating this "drama"..or stress in our lives too in order to get the payoff of "resolution".


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some ideas:

To protect yourself from "story-fication" ask yourself, what do I really KNOW about this person, or situation? 


How does this story make me feel? Do I feel stress? ..or Do I feel calm?

What are the stories that define me or that I hold to be most important? If let them go, will my reality change?

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The box you think your in doesn't exist.
-Tim Mole

You can't judge a book by it's cover. -Anon.

Question Reality. -bumper sticker


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Just a personal note: There is nothing new under the sun. I am just attempting to present info. here that has helped me. I hope to present it in a clear way based on my experience with anxiety which was a spiritual, psychological and emotional awakening for me. In retrospect of this experience I have been reading as much as I could to come to a deeper and more grounded understanding of this seemingly mystical thing that happened to me (so that I could share it with you). I'm not a doctor or a scientist. Please know this is only my experience. Yours will obviously be different, but since my experience was so similar to others I've talked to, I am hoping this may be helpful or useful to you in some way. It's also a way that I hope to share the love with you. That is my purpose here.



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