Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Once upon a time.... a never-ending story which we tell ourselves....

Dark Sky/Bright Earth, Oil on Canvas, Roslyn Ross, 2012.

Our experience of life involves a succession of stories. Often they are 'stories' programmed into our brain from childhood or past experiences and often they are 'stories' accepted as given from family, society, religion or peers. But there will be a story!

Stories, or what we tell ourselves about an experience are how we make sense of life. We are hard-wired to make sense of life and to find 'meaning' in all that we see, feel, hear and sense around us.

Just as astrological influences can be for us, against us or neutral, so too can the stories we tell ourselves. And just as astrology teaches that we have free will to choose how we work with the energies, so too do we have free will to choose the story we will tell ourselves. Those stories make our lives. Those stories in fact create our lives. Words, thoughts, stories are powerful things and we will 'tell stories' unconsciously or subconsciously if we do not choose to tell them consciously. 

And if we do not take conscious charge of our stories we are more likely to default into 'once upon a time' stories which our parents 'told us' consciously or unconsciously; verbally or emotionally; physically or psychologically - and which their parents had told them and so on back through time, the never-ending stories of your family, your tribe, your religion, your race, your nation or your gender.

Just as a story written as book, play, poem, film or image 'sets the scene' for what is to come, so too do the stories we select to 'play' set the scene for who we are, who we might become, and what our life will be. The ancients believed in the power of the Word - in fact one can find this belief even in religious teaching - in the beginning was the Word - and it is the Word and the Words which create our experience of Now which in turn seeds the creation of our Future. Not only that, Words are so powerful, magical even, that they can create our experience of the Past and enable us, not only to change our Present and our Future, but our Past as well.

Choose a story! Any story from the past and then re-tell it in a different way. It has just as much chance of being true as the one you told yourself before and what matters, more than the experience of the past, is how the story you tell yourself about it now makes you feel.

Just as an example: you grew up with abusive, dysfunctional parents. You can tell yourself you are a victim and have been so wounded by this experience, perhaps even damaged, that it continues to sabotage you and your life even now. Or you can tell yourself that you are a warrior and you have been strengthened by this experience and that has made you more resilient, wiser and more adaptable. Either story can be true. In fact both stories can be true but the one you tell yourself most often will be the one with greatest power.

It's really about taking the 'glass half full or glass half empty' scenario seriously. In ever cloud there is a silver lining and in every story lie the seeds of another story, a different story. You can tell yourself you are unworthy because your parents did not love you enough. Or you can tell yourself that your worth was demonstrated by the fact that you survived parents who did not (or more accurately, could not) love you enough.

Someone will tell the story of your life - make sure it is you!

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