The Words Behind the Words
When my mother was a young girl, she wanted to be a poet. Her teacher made fun of her poetry and my mom believed her. Based on her teacher’s opinion my mother gave up her dream. Each time I got my report card, my mother would be furious that I had once again flunked English. One day she gave me a thesaurus and I began to explore the meanings of words. Sometime later I was writing a story about a village and found the word ‘quaint.’ I can still remember the big red circle the teacher put around that word with her comment – great word!
I don’t think I ever told my mother I loved words and she died before I began writing. Today I am a wordsmith – I love words and have found great freedom through my writing. I achieved that freedom by giving myself permission to change my definitions of words like responsibility and fault, love and intimacy (I now think of it as into me see), and by breaking all the unspoken agreements I had with my parents, my friends, and society as a whole.
As I have explored my definitions, I have found that unspoken words, non-negotiated agreements, and unexplored beliefs can enslave me faster than any prison ever could. I have learned that by exploring how I feel loved and what I need I can become a beloved friend to myself and happiness is mine.
Plato is attributed with saying, “A life unexamined is not worth living.” I know for myself the parts of my life I have yet to examine are often limiting in nature. My mother was suicidal most of her life, when she died I picked up her badge of honor until one day I said, “Enough.” We often unconsciously promise important people in our lives not to be happier or more successful than they were. When we lead our lives based on those unspoken words – sadly we may go to our graves trying to fulfill those promises we never really made.
I have found more times than not that my bliss lies just beyond the limits of my comfort zone or the limiting thoughts of my mind. My happiness and freedom lie beyond the words of my story in the land of unexplored realities, in stories I have not yet taught myself about this adventure I call my life.
I can either focus on the thoughts that seemingly arise out nowhere, out of the void of nothingness or I can consciously choose to tell myself something else. Today you will think 95% of the same thoughts you thought yesterday. Our minds endlessly repeat the same story. But thank goodness we are not our minds and we have the freedom to tell ourselves a different story.
Our experience of life is based on the story we tell ourselves. Unfortunately we actually believe the stores are real and get attached to them. When we meet someone new, what do we do? We start telling them our stories. Where we were born, what we ‘do’ for a living, perhaps how old we are. How many times have you told yourself and others the story of your childhood? If you didn’t like the story the first time, why keep telling it?
As you read these words, what are your thoughts? Is your mind ready to argue for your story? What stories have you been telling yourself lately? Are they really worth it? Are they real? What if you let life be as it is minus the story? What if you asked yourself moment by moment – how does that story make me feel? How would I respond to life if I told myself a different story? What if you realized it is really all a bunch of words based on a mind full of fear, beliefs, assumptions, agreements, and limitations. What if you allowed for the possibility that if you tell yourself other words you could respond to life with an open heart, full of love, compassion and limitless possibilities?
Try it for a time. Every time you have an emotional reaction to life that causes you suffering, ask yourself – “How could I see this through the eyes of love instead? How could I see this differently? Allow for the possibility that we have just forgotten what life is really about – that we told ourselves a scary story and believed it. Allow for the possibility that we are all playing at a game called life – that we really can have fun remembering our divine nature – that life is glorious, full of love, magic, and wonder – and that no one is ever really hurt or dies – that we are eternal beings remembering how to love unconditionally, perhaps remembering what it feels like to be in the presence of our own divinity.
You really are perfect just the way you are and this moment is perfect. We are perfect and we live in perfection – and then we tell ourselves a story – my suggestion is that you make your story a good one full of love, laughter and joy.