Movie of Your Life
Do you believe your thoughts create your reality or there is power in the stories you tell? If there is even a little truth to this concept, I’m personally thankful for what is referred to as the “time gap” between when we think about something and when it manifests. Otherwise, I’d be in big trouble as my thoughts and stories often revolve around things I don’t want to create.
Regardless of one’s opinion regarding the power of our thoughts, we all carry certain cognitive biases, many which support the belief our focus and stories have power. In my own life, I’ve had numerous incidents validating the correlation between my thoughts, attention and outer experience. I believe the stories we tell DO have influence. There are times I remember to be careful about what I’m creating, and other times I fail.
There are also times I am keenly aware of the stories other people are telling and cognizant that they are often creating a reality they most certainly would not choose.
Be Thankful to Time
For example, while discussing a number of upcoming doctor’s appointments, a friend of mine commented, “Well, we’re getting to an age where we’re going to have a lot of things going on and it will be interesting to see how we all support each other through this.” I immediately picked up on the assumption that as we reach a certain age we would start to have more and more health problems.
Most everyone seems to agree with this assessment, but aren’t there plenty of examples of people who have grown old and stayed healthy? I choose to be one of them. As a matter of fact, I choose to get even healthier as I age.
Story of Hardship
Another example involves a comment I overheard at a social get together: “well, life is hard, you know.” Everyone in the circle nodded their heads in agreement. The conversation continued around some problem or story of hardship. Each person added their version except me. When it came to me, I attempted to turn the conversation to something positive. The conversation had been started by a person sharing stories of a litany of people she knows who had a particularly bad week. I turned to her and asked “so, what went right in your week?”
She didn’t quite know how to answer. When she did, it was less about something that had gone right and more about a conversation she had with someone that made her think of me. However, someone else in the circle caught on to what I was asking so rephrased the question: “what went right with you last week?” She turned to him, appreciative of the question, however still struggled to answer. Why is it we are conditioned to talk about what is going wrong?
The drama of our conversations seem to be made up with stories about negative things. Admittedly, every now and then you’ll have a person excited to share some good news, however it seems more often people talk about things that aren’t uplifting or positive. I can feel isolated at times because I don’t want to participate in those stories. Insomuch as I desire to be fully present with someone and connect on a soul level without any judgement, in this arena it is difficult. Clearly I am feeling judgement about the stories someone is telling when they are full of woes or complaints.
Always listen with Compassion
Learning to listen with compassion without participating in the story takes tremendous self-discipline. All too often I want to impose my belief system onto someone else by pointing out what I perceive to be their focus ‘misdirection.’ Or, I get caught up in the storytelling of what’s not going right and contribute to the conversation with my own personal drama.
It’s nearly impossible for any of us not to get sidetracked from our desire to stay aware of our personal narratives and use their power to change who we are and how we experience life. When we forget we are the creator of our stories, we stop remembering the power of our perception. Life can then feel out of our control and we tell our tale as if it is fact.
“It is what it is” can be a useful tool for when things happen that are indeed outside of our control. However, remembering we have a choice as to how we are giving meaning to events returns us to the role of screen writer, director and lead character. In this way, we are indeed powerful beings and can move from forgetting we are watching a movie to recognizing we are creating it.