Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.
—Daphne Rose Kingma
Spring is time of new growth, transformation, and change. Why not use this time to transform old thoughts. The story that we tell ourselves about our lives sets the frame for how we view our lives. Here are five ways to realize that you are not your story:
1) The things that you have experienced do not define you
The things that we experience in our life do not have to define who we become. We all have baggage and things that we need to heal from. When we carry them around as our badge of honor and we identify with it so wholly, this is when we get in to trouble. By practicing this as our identity we are setting ourselves up for the inability to change and grow. We are much more than our past. Remember our past does not have to determine our future. We have already survived through our past we have a choice to not live life through this lens on on a daily basis.
2) Holding on to your story keeps you stuck
When we identify so deeply with our story it keeps us in the quicksand of the past. It keeps us trapped in old ideas, not allowing us to transform into what we are meant to become. Like shame and self sabotage it keeps us in the spin cycle of doing and believing the same things over and over again. If you want your ideas to change we must acknowledge our story, tell it and release it so that we can move forward.
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
3) Working on acknowledging your experiences and mourning them
Working on your story, acknowledging and mourning our experiences is painful yet necessary. We need to listen with love to our story so that we can transform it and be free to be something else. When we acknowledge our past experiences, take the time to feel them and mourn them, they can no longer rule us because we have begun the process of letting go.
The only way to be free of our story is to walk through the fire and address the feelings that we avoid when we only understand our experiences cognitively. When we allow ourselves to feel the feelings of this difficult emotion we can begin change our perception. Learning to forgive ourselves and others is a necessary in moving forward in our lives and allowing a new story to unfold. Scientist have found that tears of mourning and forgiveness actually release neurotoxins actually making us feel better.
“We all want to do something to mitigate the pain of loss or to turn grief into something positive, to find a silver lining in the clouds. But I believe there is real value in just standing there, being still, being sad.”
4) Seeing yourself as a survivor instead of a victim
When we get stuck in our story we have difficulty seeing anything new. We get stuck with dirty glasses and all we can see is the dirt. The more that we believe that we are a character in a specific story, we perpetuate this story over and over again. If we truly want to release our story as our identity ,we must change the way that we look at our experience. Sometimes we look at ourselves as victims of our reality when we are actually survivors. We can learn to take our power back and believe that we are thriving instead of surviving this life. We just need to learn to clean our glasses so that we can have a new perspective.
5) We are much more than our identity
This is a difficult idea to break because our culture tells us we are our identity, what our job is, what we own, and what we drive. But let us put aside this notion for a moment.
Your actions and choices are who you actually are. So this means that how we treat our selves and others is who we truly are. What defines us are our morals and values. What are your morals and values in life? How do you want to treat yourself and others?
“Moral features are the chief dimension by which we judge, sort and choose social partners. For men and women alike, the single most sought-after trait in a long-term romantic partner is kindness – beating out beauty, wealth, health, shared interests, even intelligence.” ~Nina Strohminger
What defines us is not what we have survived but how we live and love. Think about who you want to be in the world to create your reality, the choice is yours. Let go of your story so that you can be your authentic self.
How does your story effect your life? Would you like help re-authoring it? Let me know if I can help, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am offering a workshop on April 23rd that will help with transforming negative beliefs and behaviors. You can learn more about it here. Please feel free to comment below.
Have a blessed week.
Image: You are not your story. By Molly Hahn