LETTING GO OF A DISEMPOWERING STORY
So here I am after a month of not being able to do much except sit on my sofa and tinkle on my computer, due to inexplicable back pain. I still haven't recovered but I am slowly getting better. It's just enough to go for a run a couple of times a week first thing in the morning before the pain becomes a bit too much.
It has been a frustrating time for me because I like to DO stuff, and not being able to move is very detrimental to my mental health. The way we move (or not) produces emotion, and the only thing that does not move at all is a dead body! So my vitality has been lowered and my mood has suffered as a result. I have noticed myself getting cranky and irritable in a way I don't like.
For a while I tried to cope with the repeated existential crisis with massive doses of netflix crime series and the occasional glass of wine in the evening. However, this situation reached a peak of frustration last week when I decided to listen to the Tony Robbins Comeback challenge. I used to have serious doubts about the guy a few years back but I have to say I am super impressed now.
There are few people who say is like it is without overcomplicating or oversimplifying things. He is one of them. And I like how he is not just trying to inspire you but he is actually wanting to empower you with real and practical exercises and advice. Now, of course, his live events have always been way out of my league and I often wondered why they needed to be so expensive, but if you are really motivated it's enough to listen to his cds and take action.
So with his help I am now finding the way out of this slump. I am realising more and more my patterns, and am finding my inspiration again. I am beginning to really understand what the story was that I was constantly telling myself inside my head and am beginning to put into place real measures to ERASE that old story and create an alternative.
So far, one of the main obstacels on the way to success has been wanting someone else to save me and 'do it for me'. I think thiis is pretty common but I had a real resistance to taking responsibility here. I usually overdo the 'take responsibility' card, so it is curious how in this instance I kept of doing the opposite.
I guess I was feeling sorry for myself because I have been miserable for most of my life while on the other hand I have successfully helped a lot of people on the way. I guess I felt resentful that while I was helping others noone was helping me. Fair enough, you may say. However, the only person that can make a real difference about me is ME.
It's so easy to look at the external world and demand it to fulfill our needs. And in a way I think we are spoiled. We expect instant gratification and get upset if we don't get what we want immediately and with minimal effort. We don't follow through on our plans and intentions and don't take action so we don't get what we want but when that happens instead of taking responsibility we blame others or we rationalise to give ourselves excuses for not changing.
I say enough! I want to share with you an example of the many disempowering stories I have told myself all my life. One that has recently come to light is "I don't have any friends". After lots of introspection I have come to see that this story was created back in my teens when I felt betrayed by two of my best friends.
As a result I isolated myself not just from them but from everyone in an effort to not only prove I did not need anybody but also to test them. I wanted to see whether anyone really cared about me. Would they reach out to me if I didn't make an effort to reach them?
For six months I sat alone at my desk and did not talk to anyone unless absolutely necessary. Nobody came to ask me what the matter was. They just left me to my own devices. I probably looked rather unfriendly. The result? I became more isolated than ever and eventually I became so unhappy I seriously considered suicide.
Although I was talked out of it by (ironically) the same friend who I previously had felt abandoned by, this incident coloured the rest of my life. Througout my adult life, I often felt disappointed by friendships, and have been deeply unhappy as a result.
Somehow I always ended up being the helper and often felt unappreciated or not sufficiently loved. Many repetitions of these experiences kept of piling up to convince me that nobody really ever cared about me the same way I cared about them. The thing is, this is the story I often unconsciously repeated to myself even before the friendship happened its disempowering narrative translated itself into a self fulfilling prophecy.
So what to do? Now that I have become aware of this toxic belief the time has come for me to take a stand and refuse to cast myself in this part any longer. Not only I DO have friends, but I can choose to open myself to deeper friendships by showing my vulnerability to those who have deserved to see it. I can choose to tell myself a different story.
I can decide to stop testing people and I can stop pushing them away when they hurt me. I can decide to say no to self isolation. The truth is I do need friends, just like everyone, and in order to build better friendships I need to put myself out there and keep telling myself a story that is empowering. However, this will take repetition, commitment and perseverance.
After a lifetime of negative conditioning it's not enough to have a breakthrough. You got to follow through. And take action. Every day. Until the new story becomes automatic. So, here I am, trying to reach out to you, hoping you will share YOUR toxic story with me.
What is the old disempowering story you have told yoiurself? What is the new empowering one you can can choose to start telling yoiurself from today onwards?
Share it in the comments. Because the more we dare to be open about these tihings the more we can build bridges and help each other in our journey towards healing and wholeness. Let's make this world more compassionate and less judgimental. Let's open our hearts and connect. Thank you for listening.