I got the chance to watch some of my stories come up about myself in relation to my family members over the holidays. I saw clearly that I have a limiting story about every single one of them. Here are some examples; “She just lets people carry her …”, “He has such a poverty mentality …. “, “He has to be in control of everything …” – you get the picture, I'm sure.
It was so wonderful to see what I was telling myself about my loved ones with the realization that these are “just stories” – and not “THE TRUTH”.
It was very freeing to be able to see how what I told myself about my family members inevitably turned out to reveal more to me about me than about them.
Learning how to turn my focus inwards to my inner story and process it for the purpose of my own personal liberation has become my fast track to peace.
For instance, There were terse words spoken between my daughter and myself at one point during the family gathering. It wasn't a shattering experience -the whole exchange lasted maybe 2-3 minutes … but, OH did I get mad during that tiny little exchange between us. My ego self felt so justified in its stance. “After all”, I thought, “I am right!! And besides, I told myself, “she's being SO resistant“.
Her ego appeared as eager as mine to fight. We squared off verbally in a few “back and forths” and then each of us took space. She went one way and I another, giving ourselves time to process. I knew I was hooked and started looking for my part immediately. (Remembering the rule, “our reaction is always about us”)
In processing it, my story about my daughter bubbled to the surface of my consciousness … “She wants to be taken care of … she's not motivated …” etc. I could see that my story about her had mingled with an old martyr story I was still believing about myself, which goes; “Everybody wants to be taken care of and I'm the one that has to do it all …”
No wonder we were unhappy with one another! And that's just what was happening on my side of the fence. Who knows what story she had going on!
With such a story running it was inevitable that I would project it onto somebody. My daughter was the choice of immediate convenience. I could also see that she had a stressful story running too (as she later confessed) that made our “clash” inevitable. We were just two egos looking for a place to land.
Ego always wants to personalize everything.
In times of difficulty, we may struggle to remember that what other people do and say is about them and not us. It is our own reaction that is ALL about us. This is what needs to be made personal!
When I understand that it is my own negative reactions that are generating my misery I know to search for that distorted belief in me that has been triggered. Now, that's exciting! It allows me to follow my reaction in and, through investigating that thought, liberate my mind of one more painful story! ”