We all have a painful story that we tell about life; for you it may be that your health is out of your control, men or women always abandon you, life is unsafe or that you just can’t get ahead.
If you’re like me; a Ms “Fix-it” from way back, you’ve probably tried many ways to change your story; counseling, workshops, bodywork, processing, diet changes, learning more, trying harder, Making An Effort.
But probably, like me, your story just keeps repeating on you. You may have gone to the depths of your despair in that last workshop or counseling session and came out feeling reborn, and then, What?! 2 months later, you’re feeling the same feelings and living that Same Story.
Why is that??
One thing I’ve seen across the years of “fixing” my story is that we don’t Change the story, we Wake Up inside it.
You see our early life experiences, way back to our time in the womb, literally set up a biological map or energetic imprint that is ours to walk and become conscious inside of. The dynamic between our parents, the key experiences of our childhood (belonging/exclusion, love/abandonment, friendships/loneliness etc) all create an energetic imprint and neurological track-work in the brain that then helps to form our personality and psyche and how we respond to the world.
It is possible to change this imprint and the pathways in the brain, in fact that’s a large part of what we are doing in a Somatic Experiencing session. So we may Wake Up to these pathways, and thus have more options, more choice, more flexibility, but generally these make up the terrain of our life. Your life story may not change, but You change in relation to it.
The first time you experienced being seriously ill as a child it was too overwhelmingly scary for such a little person to handle. So you learnt to disconnect from your body and live from your mind, denying your feelings and unaware of your body processes. Now as an adult, when you become ill, you have the choice to disconnect from your body, or to Feel the terror that illness invokes and become present to the sensations and experiences in your body. As you become present, you can begin to identify less with your “story” (“I’m always sick, I have no control, I cant trust my body”) and wanting the pain to go away, and you identify more with the part of you who watches it all.
Illness may always be something that you have a strong reaction to, but as you build your ability to stay conscious with whatever your story is, there becomes no Need to “fix” it. When you can be conscious with it, the emotions, the sensations and the experience of your story just are*. They may be uncomfortable, but they just are as they are. You notice the fear that arises, the movement towards disconnecting from your body, and you can choose something different, because you are more awake inside your story. And in Being awake, your capacity to experience more pleasure and good-life-force increases as well. As you are probably aware, shutting out pain also shuts out pleasure and reduces your range of feeling both ways.
(*Please note, Im not inferring that this is easy, just that it is the way to go in order to bring light and change to “problems” in your experience.)
When we wake up inside our problems, they are not “problems” anymore, they are opportunities for consciousness here and now. And consciousness is a very yummy thing
I like to imagine that we are all walking our own unique Life Maze. As we “wake up” inside this maze, we start to explore new areas and directions, and the specific qualities of our life story begin to bring particular gifts, like treasures hidden amongst the hedges. These may be humility, compassion, patience, kindness, life force, love. But to glean these treasures from your well trodden maze, you mustn’t be fooled by the story and you must be willing to try something new.
Often, when you are lost down the alley ways of your maze, its not as easy as “choosing” to find a different way. Especially if your Life Maze has some truly scary corners. Like a child lost in a maze, sometimes you need another person to come in there and take your hand, helping you see new options and guide you out. In a therapeutic or an intimate relationship, we can get to know each others’ track-work and become more present and conscious for the other when we know they are navigating tricky areas. We can befriend their maze with them and help to expand the range of feeling that is possible.
Your Life Maze is your burden or your gift for waking up. What ever your story is, it is Your story. The less you fight with that simple truth, the more you will be available to Be Here for your life and for the hidden treasures in it.
I wish you well dear traveller!
Over to you:
I’d love to hear what you think about waking up inside your problems rather than fixing them.. Have you experienced “fixing” your story, or have you had it repeat on you again and again?
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