Re-Write Your History and Create the Future You Want!
Have you become a victim to your past? Decided you’re unlovable, unworthy or less than because of the meaning you’ve assigned to the experiences you’ve had? Life happens, events occur – we see things, exchange words, experience feelings and then we use our interpretation of what we’ve experienced to assign meaning to it all. Have you ever noticed that a number of people can participate in the same event yet each person will have their own unique experience of it? My honey and I can watch the same movie, seeing the same scenes and hearing the same words yet we don’t always re-act the same to it. He’ll laugh when I cry and usually one of us ends up enjoying the movie more than the other.
This is exactly what we do in our lives – we assign meaning to the events we experience, based on how we’ve interpreted it at the time. The meaning then becomes our memory of the event, having a natural influence on the flow of our lives. Our past, which remains part of us, continues to influence how we participate in creating our lives moving forward. Every time a memory is triggered in a present moment, the emotional tone (energy) of the meaning we’ve previously assigned to it naturally influences how we are creating in that moment - it becomes part of the mix.
“The only meaning that anything has is the meaning we give it.” A Course in Miracles
If the meaning you’ve given your past is not supporting you in creating the life you want now – change it! Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Not always. Not when the meaning we’ve given the story is keeping us safe or powering us up by making us feel important, right or justified. This sort of empowerment is usually gained through a limiting power source – a source that takes from another in a depreciating way.
Power gets its juice from feeding off of another source of energy. Limiting power like thoughts have a, “I’m better, smarter, more beautiful, more creative, more…. than they are” ring to them, lifting oneself up while putting someone else down. Or like “I’m not as good/smart/pretty/tall/thin/creative… as them”; putting oneself down while inflating another – possible putting them on a pedestal for the sake of keeping oneself safe (and small).
True or real sourced power feeds off of the never ending abundant supply of potential and possibility that is freely available to all – and harms none! True power thoughts sound like “I can do this”, “I am enough”, “I am learning and growing” or “what is possible now?” Notice how the focus is on the self – self acknowledging, self accepting and self motivating. When we don’t include the ‘other’ in our own meaning, we neither puff them up nor knock them down, the meaning you give is about YOU. Other people will assign their own meaning to a shared event and it will be about them. As tempting as it is to take another person’s meaning personally – it serves us to remember that it isn’t.
If reality is an illusion, what illusion do you want to create as your reality?
We can’t go back and change the ‘facts’ of the past; we need to accept the facts as they are. What we can do is go back and change the meaning or story that we’ve made up about our past. Doing so, changes the impact and influence the past is having on our lives in the present and going forward.
Let’s take the example of being laid off from a job due to restructuring; many of us have had this sort of experience at least once. The feeling of being laid off doesn’t usually feel great – even when it’s what we’ve secretly (or not so secretly) been wishing for, actually being asked to leave the building or to being escorted off the premises can sting. Far too often after this sort of experience I’ve heard people make up stories like “I wasn’t appreciated, someone was out to get me, I must have something wrong – all these sort of ‘meanings’ can leave one feeling rejected –again, not a pleasant feeling. They can also leave a person feeling disempowered, which is NOT a resourceful state to be in when looking of new employment or planning your next steps.
What we need to do in such a case is separated the facts from the fiction. This actually happened to me in 2003 – I was laid off from my banking job without cause. And even though I was able to COMPLETELY recognize how I had consciously participated in creating the experience, on the day it un-expectantly happened, it stung! I told myself a whole much of *BS* that I needed to later retract. The FACTS were that I was no longer employed. I had been told I was laid off without cause, meaning I had not done anything wrong – it served me best to believe that. It was not where I wanted to stay career wise and I had already been working towards a new career. Those were the facts. The story that served me without belittling anyone else (or myself) is that I needed to be let go, so that I could focus on the career I really wanted for myself. That if this was happening now, it must be time! One door had closed forcing me to walk through the other door that had already been opened. When I attach that story to the experience of being laid off, it feels empowering and promising – a bit scary for sure, however in an exciting way.
Changing the meaning of a past event may not necessarily erase the one you had previously assigned to it. When I recall hearing the words and being escorted out of the branch, a slight sting still remains. I now use that feeling as a trigger that reminds me of my power to “choose” the story I remember… guess which one I chose?
We humans do tend to be creatures of habit; choosing a more empowering meaning or reinforcing a new story can take time. Be kind to yourself as you work on retraining your mind to more regularly tap into potential and possibility while harming none, the source of true power, when assigning meaning to life’s events.
Re-write the meaning of your past and become the hero/heroine of your own life’s journey.