How to Evolve Your Story (After A Big Shift)
What if the bad things that happen to you – and everyone – were opportunities to unhinge from the illusions you've bought into? What if the story of who you are is richer and grander than you might have imagined? What if you used life's challenges to evolve instead of dissolve?
I've had my share of big shifts – life challenges that call you into the greater being residing within. I wish I could say that I haven't struggled with them, that I float through the flotsam and jetsam of loss with ease and grace every time. The truth is that sometimes the blows are really, really difficult to navigate. What I DO have is a certainty that all is well, no matter how things appear.
More than ever I am nourished by the Source of Life. Amid the challenges, I am succored and sustained. Sometimes these challenges require a pulling in and away from the world. It's not because you can't be in the world and partake of it's everyday glory. It's more that there is a massive restructuring occurring. This re-orchestration requires space, often time to be alone and apart. It's like the seedling buried deeply in the earth, drawing sustenance from the rich soil and moisture to grow into its pure perfection.
It's essential that you allow the time and space to be with the realignment of your being. It has its own timing and a certain bandwidth is required. What if you allowed yourself to be moved by Life? What if Life in its infinite knowing can map this out better than even you (oh wise one)? What if these life experiences were the way life polished you into your pure perfection?
Upgrade Three Disempowering Stories
By now you've probably noticed that your experiences have more than one version (also known as a story). I don't mean to discredit what you believe but there are the things that occur, and the stories we make up about them. Much of how you interpret events (or create a story) is dependent on your beliefs. Some beliefs are empowering, others are disempowering. You'll know which one is at play by how you feel. Does it give you energy? Does it take your energy? One feels good. The other does not. We have many, many, many stories. Some support you. Some don't. You get to choose.
This past year of big shifts has brought to light three long held disempowering stories. I held onto these as if my life depended on them (and for a very, very long time it did). Check in and notice if these three stories are weaving their way in your world. I'll share my own experience as to how they've played out in my world and what I've come to know:
Story #1: I Must Be Loyal to My Family. I came in with a great capacity for love (I'm betting most of you can relate to this). I found forgiveness pretty easy with those I love. I'd always find some reason that explained why they behaved they way they did. I would put myself in their shoes and find my way to forgiveness. But . . . they did the same hurtful things over and over, showed no remorse and never, ever attempted to take responsibility or make amends…. for decades. I believed that my love was strong enough to shift things. In the end, I realized that was my ego talking. I'm not responsible for anyone's path except my own. Here's the bottom line: if your family puts you down and mistreats you it's abuse. There's NO reason to tolerate mistreatment from those you love (or anyone). It shows a lack of love for yourself. Ask yourself this: “Why Must I Give Up Being Me In Order To Be Loved By You?” If your family doesn't love who you are move on. There ARE people that will love you as you are.
Story #2: A Good Mother Is Always There For Her Children. I never planned on having children. I wanted to learn, travel and have a career. When motherhood visited my doorstep I decided I'd give my children everything I wished I'd had. My early motherhood years were difficult, there was divorce, struggling financially and no support from my family. Figuring out the motherhood thing was really rough, especially because I'd had a very emotionally distant mother. Plus, I grew up in an abusive and alcoholic household. I flew by the seat of my pants on this one, telling myself the most important thing was to show my kids I loved them in every way possible. I did. My children tell me I was a great mom. I doubted it for a verrrrry long time. I kept giving and giving and giving, hoping it would be enough. I remember reading one of Carlos Castaneda's book and he mentioned that mothers have energetic holes. I totally get it. At some point, your children are responsible for their own lives and you have to reclaim your energy. My daughter is a gift and a wonder, so is my son but he's had a long standing challenge … heroin addiction. I thought my love could pull him out of that one too. Again, my ego is alive and well. He recently went back to jail. I think I finally get that he's got to get himself out of this one. You can love your children to the end of the world and back but you can't save them from their own path. They must walk it, not you.
Story #3: Relationships are Risky. Life is risky. You can walk out your front door and never return. Relationships have been a source of SO much pain for me and SO much learning. I haven't had one ‘successful' relationship, the kind that you're committed to no matter what. I do have one relationship on and off for almost 30 years. Only now am I seeing the many ways in which I refused to grow, the ways in which I tried to control the relationship … and all because I was terrified of re-creating the hell I grew up with. Somewhere buried in the deep recesses of my brain being alone was the safest thing to be. Safe maybe but not rich and rewarding. Relationships are risky. You're bound to get hurt, fail, fall short. So what! With great risk comes great reward. Take the chance, let life crack you open and unleash the beauty within you. This is your one life. Live it!
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with these beliefs. The problem for me was that I came from my ego so it skewed my perspective and blinded me to the possibility at play. When the veil lifted I could see how the less than version of reality occurred in these. I could see that there was now another way to play.
How To Uncover and Release The Stories That No Longer Serve You
The way to blast through the old stories is pretty simple, though it often escapes us. I will tell you that in my experience it's difficult to get this on your own. Often the support of a professional (whether it's a therapist or a coach) is required.
In my case, I availed myself of both and it took me the better part of a year to uncover the spyware alive and well in my operating system. And … I've done ‘the work' for decades.
We're pretty tricky at fooling ourselves. Don't forget to lather on lots of love here, no one is exempt from this. We all do it.
Here is a process that I recommend you explore on your own to get started.
1. Suspend judgment. Don't make yourself wrong for the choices you've made. Chances are you made the best choice given your circumstances.
2. Explore the Story. Put on your cloak of curiosity and view the situation as an explorer in an unknown land. Curiosity is an open frequency and will reveal what escapes your ordinary point of view.
3. Create an Empowering Story. What is the possibility at play here? What is this crisis or challenge revealing to you so that you can shift it? Flip the story and explore new possibilities. I created a worksheet for my coaching clients – Embracing Your Empowering Stories. You can download it here!
I'm gently moving through the release of these old stories and allowing Life to shape me anew. Along the way, I'm applying heaping doses of liberal self-care and reconnecting to the practices that aliven and awaken me. I'm finding an even more peaceful and loving person arising from the ashes of my old self. It is ALL good, my friends.
Life's challenges are an opportunity to begin again, to craft a new you, to evolve your being. We all create stories. You can make bad ones, you can make good ones. Use your power of story maker, life shaper. Stories rearrange reality. Do it now.
Let me know if you need help with shifting to YOUR empowering story! And … share your own shift of a disempowering story in the comments below.
About the Author
Adela Rubio writes and speaks on awakening your creative essence with the power of collaboration and community. She's hosted 20+ Women's Writing Circles, 30-Day Adventures, and Telesummits.