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Writing your life story is like putting together a puzzle.
On the cover of the box is a beautiful picture of what the finished product should look like. But, what do you see when you lift the top cover? A hot mess of jagged pieces lying there willy nilly. So, you start locating and bridging together the outer edge pieces cause they’re usually the easiest to connect. Or you might look for matching colors or start piecing together images. You’re urged to keep going until you’ve created a carbon copy of the image as seen on the box.
Each and every belief that you carry around is a piece of the puzzle that is your life up to now, jiggling around in your head.
It’s the story of how you should be living your life: where you should go to school, who you should marry, which career you should choose, how much money you should make, etc. This is the story of your life as told by external narrators — parents, siblings, teachers, religion, community, culture.
Writing your life story is a process to identify the “cookie cutter” thoughts and belief systems that various institutions of life have imposed upon us early on.
We internalize these beliefs, which determine how we respond to the events in our lives. Furthermore, our belief systems determine how we perceive life and how we see ourselves, which in turn, determine every decision we make and every action we take.
“It’s the accumulated pressure of feelings that causes thoughts,” according to David R. Hawkins, MD PhD, in his pioneering book on emotions, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender.
“One feeling, for instance, can create literally thousands of thoughts over a period of time. Think, for instance, of one painful memory from early life… one terrible regret that has been hidden. Look at all the years and years of thoughts associated with that single event.”
None of our thoughts and beliefs are reality based.
The kicker is that they’re just stories. When we have an emotional reaction (fear, anger, etc.) to a physical feeling (sick to the stomach), our thoughts provide us with a story to explain what we’re feeling. Though the trigger may be different, anger always feels the same: our face warms up, our heartbeat increases, our pupils dilate, and we immediately jump on the defensive ready for attack.
Writing your life story is a clever little tool that, when used correctly, bypasses the left brain (home of logic and reason) and allows free access to the right brain — the seat of creativity.
The objective is to go to the core of your belief system, rearranging the puzzle pieces so that they match the internal image that you see… not the one on the box that was configured by someone else. Dr. Hawkins explains that we “carry around with us a huge reservoir of accumulated negative feelings, attitudes, and beliefs. The accumulated pressure makes us miserable and is the basis of many of our illnesses and problems.”
Our life story does the unthinkable.
It goes right to the pain that the average person spends most of his/her life running away from. It’s a small step toward surrendering these deep, underlying feelings. Once we do that, explains Dr. Hawkins, all of the resulting thoughts would disappear instantly and we would forget the event. Try to imagine your life free from the pressure of someone else’s story… of what your life should be like.
In other words, what if there were no prefabricated image for you to copy? What if you could create a belief system that connects you to your innate empathy, courage, trust, and love? Who could you be?