Q. How do you stay present when someone (probably someone you love and care about) is yelling at you because of their story?
Example of blame. In her story about me (in comparison to the story about herself) it looks like I have the life she wants. It looks like I have the relationship she wants. It looks like I can pay my bills and get everything my heart desires without having to ask. It doesn’t look like these things are in her life. Her life is shit.
In her story about her (in comparison to her story about me) it looks like she has less than nothing. No relationship. No money coming in. No intuition to guide her choices. No-one to talk to about her overwhelm, and no-one who understands and loves her for who she is really.
It also looks like I’m in control (that is, it doesn’t look like I ever feel overwhelm or distress about anything that happens which translates to – “you don’t feel, you aren’t in effect of anything, and you live in a safe little bubble where life is perfect so fuck you!”
Meanwhile it looks like she is completely, dangerously out of control. It looks like she is crying too much, angrily spitting venom at the wrong people, and generally being a mental case who’s at risk of being locked up if she can’t get her shit together.
None of this is true.
All of this is a story.
It’s a story that we tell from a perspective that keeps us safe.
For example, if it’s someone else’s fault that I’m feeling shit, then I can be righteous and angry at them. Alternatively, if it’s my fault for not being like someone else, then I can still be righteous and angry at them because their happiness/success is making me wrong or stupid or a victim of circumstance. Either way, the story is giving me permission to feel and that’s what’s really going on when it’s not about other people.
We can choose any number of ways to give ourselves permission to feel. Chances are if we’ve chosen this one, we’ve chosen it for a reason.
Although our feelings do not seem like choices, the way we give ourselves permission – through stories about who’s to blame or by Divine decree – is a choice we make every time a feeling pops into existence.
And even if that choice of story feels so close to the feeling so as not to reveal a gap, it’s there.
The desire to make the gap visible is our pull to make the choice conscious.
Are you conscious of your choices?
Are you conscious of the fact that you even have a choice?
If these questions feel confrontational then there is probably something kicking for you around making the stories visible. Read on!
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