This will be a short note while I take a break in Shawnee State Park Lodge. That’s in Ohio on the Buckeye Trail, which I’ve been “hiking” for the past month. I put that in quotes because my partner, John, and I have been engaging with this trail in a unique combination of walking, riding bikes, and driving. A lot of the route follows roads, so we’ve been relieving sore feet from many miles of roadwalking by driving them.
But that’s not what I want to tell you about. What I want to share is a close up and personal look at ME caught up in one of my biggest, hugest, most limiting “Stories”.
Because I’m so excited for this breakthrough, this “Story Busting” that I just have to share it! My hope in sharing it is that maybe you’ll be encouraged to wake up to catching yourself in a story and try out the steps to freeing yourself from those old, energy draining stories.
So, here’s how it happened.
I’m ignoring my hiking partner with whom I usually talk with pretty easily. I’m imagining what it will be like when we split up and he’s off hiking by himself and I’m going my own way, focusing on my business and on a new project that may develop here in Ohio. I’ll share more about that later, but it’s not so important right now. Anyway, I was really noticing how down in the dumps I was, how negative and really caught up in imagining the worst possible scenario. I was making up a depressing drama of breaking up, being alone, being all self-righteous and sure that I HAD to pursue things in my own way. I was being sarcastic and hardly talking at all.
My creative thoughts AND my energy were hiding. I wasn’t even enjoying the beautiful forest very much.
And that’s how I went to sleep. Gratitude? Forget it. My life just wasn’t working.
In the morning, I realized that I probably had a little more choice about this than I was allowing. I’m a Radical Forgiveness coach, after all. Shouldn’t I be able to shift this energy? I started to argue with myself, like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings.
“It’s all true, Precious. Don’t you know that no matter what, you’ll have to pursue your career on your own? Don’t you know that you can’t have a partner AND a career that you love? You can’t have both! Don’t you know that?”
“But it’s so sad that way! I can’t live that way! There’s no way out of this! Poor me!” etc.
I woke up.
“This is my STORY! It’s played out in my life before! And it was even very close to this spot geographically! It was in this very county three decades ago that I gave up my career to have a partner!”
“But, who will I BE without this story?” I noticed how reluctant I was to give it up. I wanted to be right. After all, if this was just a story, maybe I could have given it up the other times I had played it out.
“Gads! I had even divorced my husband with whom I played out this story. What if I could have changed my story instead of my partner?”
But, I reached for the 13 Steps to Radical Forgiveness and asked John to read them to me.
Step 7 – “Can you be open to the idea that you only get upset when someone resonates in you something that you’ve denied, repressed, and projected onto them? And that what is upsetting you about the other person is a part of you that is crying out to be loved and accepted?”
“That’s it!” That part of me is that I can have a partner AND a profession! OMG! “I never believed that before and I’ve made it right just like I believed it!”
Tears flowed and the rest of the steps unfolded. I said “Yes” to them all. As the day went on, with many miles of the Shawnee Forest falling under my feet, I started imagining how I could have a partner AND a career that I loved. John and I played around with a few ideas. Nothing is clear yet, but I am no longer assuming that things can’t work out. I’m open to MY NEW STORY: I have a partner AND my joyful profession!
Hmm. I said this would be short. I guess it took a bit of telling. Thanks for reading!
In joy, Regina
P.S. Do you have a STORY that’s running your life? Do you want a NEW STORY? The first step is to tell the old one.
Join me in Journey to YOUR HeartLand, a four-week telecourse to
- Discover your own story
- Learn how to switch off the energy drain of your old story
- Love yourself just as you are
- Step into a new story that you CHOOSE
I’ve told myself this same story. I’ve divorced twice and I can see how this particular story started playing out in high school. I was an excellent student and my grades went down when I got a boyfriend. Thanks for sharing, Regina. I’ve realized the story isn’t true and am certainly open to having both too. Good on you, my friend!
Working within the partnership is confining – but I don’t want to hurt my partner, who’s done nothing wrong except be himself. It’s I who didn’t pick well enough, who mistook talk about his career for actual talking about things that mattered, who has chosen to stay and make it as good as possible.
But I find it stifling in many ways. Sometimes I wonder if the chronic illness that keeps me from leaving is something my psyche came up with to keep me here: I can’t leave – it will take too much energy.
Other times I tell myself that’s crazy talk.
I funnel that energy that doesn’t get used up into my writing – and we live a joint life of mutual respect – but without the closeness I craved all my life.
Some things just don’t get to be better.
I’m on the cusp of publishing my first book – maybe that will help. Certainly, that’s where all the emotions and angst that are not allowed in real life find a home.
Thanks for sharing your story, ABE. I’m sorry that’s happening to you. When you’re ready, you can take the steps of an awakening journey. You’ve got the first step – telling the story.
I agree that it’s possible that the suppressed creative energy of not expressing your passion for writing could be showing up in other physical ways.You might want to check out rhe book, Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. (In Products and Services in this nlog) for a helpful view of this.
Thanks for joining in the conversation with me!
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