In my work. I hear stories of people lives all day long. The experiences behind the stories can often be traumatic. It can become second nature to replay such stories over in the mind in hopes of making sense of them, processing them and ultimately releasing the trauma. While speaking about it might feel like a form of release, often times when stories are repeated again and again over time, the trauma is reinforced rather than released. For many people, they might even be on autopilot as they retell their story not aware of how it is impacting their present state of mind or even the quality of their future.
When ready to move forward, to break free of mental bondage, it is important to begin to tell a new story. This does not dishonor or ignore repercussions of the past; it begins to pave a way for a more promising tomorrow. What we put our focus on is what we will experience more of. For example, if the focus is on a negative emotion or thought, we will likely experience more negative emotions and thoughts, but if we focus on a positive emotion or thought, we are opening the door for more positivity to enter our lives.
If telling a story is painful, that pain is being relived. Stress hormones flood the body and the mind creating tension, anxiety, acidity and even fear. Rather than reinforcing a continual cycle of pain, we might first pause and ask these questions. Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it uplifting? When we stop to consider these aspects in relation to whatever it is that we share but especially to a charged story, we might realize there are important lessons that came from the experiences that formed the story. Just as the lotus grows out of the mud, the awareness we gain from trauma can often be insightful, uplifting, transformative and even beautiful. As the focus is shifted, the story can be reshaped o reflect on what we have gained from the experience. As we begin to share from the standpoint of a student rather than from that of a victim, we reinforce growth, strength and progress rather than feeling stifled, weak and defeated.
Giving yourself the freedom of feeling into your life, into your past, into your losses and into your pain, is a necessary part of healing. Feel to heal and then become aware of your own consciousness especially as time goes by. While pain is part of life, prolonged suffering is often an unconscious choice. Be objective and observe whether you are allowing past experiences to govern your mood and your experience of life. This unconscious reinforcement can be brought to the forefront of your mind. If you catch yourself sharing a painful memory, pause, connect to your heart and ask yourself if this is the energy you want to feel, that you want others to feel, that you want to bring more of into your life? With a small amount of awareness and some effort, you can not only reshape your story but you can reshape your life with a richer experience of the present moment and the potential for a more radiant future.