While speaking with a girlfriend about a family struggle she’s been going through, I was absolutely fascinated by the story she was weaving for herself. What certain things meant, how it was going to be for them in the future, what family members were thinking. None of which they expressed themselves.
She went on and on. Not being involved in this struggle, I could easily hear what wasn’t true. In fact, all she was doing in the moment was keeping herself trapped in this story. Believing every word of it, as indicated by her passionate delivery. The more entrenched she became, the more trapped she felt. And the more trapped she felt, the more sadness ensued.
When she was finished I shared the idea that she just created a story of fiction. Within an instant she realized that none of it was true. Not one word and from that awareness immediate relief and laughter came to be. The trap door had swung open and she was free to see things from a new perspective. Which allowed her new choices.
Where our stories come from
This is such a common experience for people. I see it over and over again and it’s always the stories that bring on the real suffering. Not the experience itself, but the stories we tell ourselves about the experience.
In the midst of emotional turmoil some of the best fiction stories are created. And there’s only one place those stories come from – your small, fearful self. Also known as the ego. Whose job it is to make sure you stay feeling small and scared. To make sure you hang out in your worry, doubt and sadness. To keep you disconnected from God and your Higher Wisdom.
The ego can immediately take your power away delaying the opportunity to reconnect with your heart so you remember what’s really True. The need for love, patience, compassion, trust and peace during times of struggle. Not just for the other people involved but for yourself – perhaps first and foremost – so you can give that to others more easily.
Warrior for pain
Listening to an interview with Byron Katie, author and speaker, she used the term, warrior for pain. It struck me that this is exactly what the ego is to us. The more we accept the role of warrior for pain, on behalf of the ego, the more our fiction stories grow. The more powerful the ego becomes and the more we suffer.
So your job, should you choose to accept it, is to practice waking up to the ego’s warrior for pain stories. From there you can turn them around and become the warrior for peace.
And remember, that all starts by being willing to put down your sword, first.