I have an addiction…and so might you.
The stories we tell ourselves.
Its an interesting thing, these stories that keep us entertained every day. And I mean entertained! Sometimes you just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of many of them, even though while you are caught right in the middle of them they seem so real!
Recently, two of the biggest stories I have told myself over the years have dissolved. They havent gone easily either! Hanging on for life, in my mind, by creating the most extraordinary of circumstances and reactions within me.
My beliefs around abundance and self worth had such a deep story embedded within me that they really have been kicking and screaming all the way while I have been changing the story about them!
Who would I be without them?
Once I figured that out, and began to BE the person with a new abundant mindset and self worth story, the last bits of the old story are loosening up and dissolving but not without having caused chaos and having me feeling like a snow globe being shaken by the Universe. It has been such a strong ‘story’ in my life that a new one needed to be stronger to survive.
And it was, and it has.
I tell this tale because I know that all of us experience change in our lives. Sometimes voluntary (conscious) and sometimes not but the way we react is what makes all the difference.
If we can know that our minds are constantly telling us stories, and that most of them are not real, we can make better choices. Byron Katie’s ‘The Work’ is wonderful to do as a process to get to the truth because by asking ‘Is it true?’ it stops the mind from ticking over the same old story and gives it an opportunity to tap into a new one. A real one. One that will serve better and is your truth.
I classify these ‘stories’ we have about ourselves as addictions because they get hold of us in a similar way. Many addictions, including substances, are just a story we have told ourselves. Often very hard to release. Even after we think we have ‘beaten’ the addiction, relapse often occurs. Its like the mind hanging on till the very last thread of evidence has disappeared! Its the final remnants of the ‘old’ story still attempting to take centre stage. This has happened for me with many of the old habits I have released, including the mind set stories.
Over the years, I have ended the story of many addictions that have had hold of my life. Cigarettes, Marijuana, Speed, Alcohol and the attention of men (yes that can be an addictive behaviour!) have all been a part of my evolution and have all had their ‘story’ in my mind.
One of the most difficult questions I have found, when breaking any addiction, yet also the most helpful and liberating, is this:
WHO AM I WITHOUT THIS?
When I became a non smoker, that truly was a difficult one for me. Starting that habit and story at around the age of 12 and changing my story about it at 38. It was a BIG story I had created around who I was as a smoker! So who was I as a non smoker? When I had that story changed in my mind, it no longer had hold of me.
The same situation with marijuana and alcohol. As soon as I could see, and believe, a different story around who I could be and was, the need for those substances no longer had a hold on me.
My story with speed was opposite. After a few weeks with the wrong crowd in my earlier years, I came to a point where I could SEE what my story would be if I stayed where I was. And I didnt like it. So fortunately I left BEFORE it got hold of me.
Who I have been is no longer congruent with where I wish to be, so the story had to change, again. This time though it was the mind I had to break a habit with. The stories that had been my foundation had to be changed. They had to lose their hold on me so that I could BE and CREATE differently. It takes courage and conviction to change a habit and if it has been a long standing one, it may just take a little longer and may even take a few attempts.
I have this advice, for myself and for you:
Be gentle on yourself.
Be strong with imagining the new story about you.
Keep going, you can do it.
See yourself differently, without the addiction/story, whatever that is for you.
Surround yourself with friends.
Know you are worthy and deserving and can create anything in life you choose.
A life of true freedom begins in the mind. What we tell ourselves is the story that shapes our creation of the life we live. What are you creating today? Are there stories that are not serving you well? Are there stories that could be changed, shifted, seen from a different vantage point?
I think we can all be addicted to our stories, good and bad, and there is nothing wrong with that, it just is, however if you consciously choose to create a life that needs one of these stories to change in order to be who you desire, ask yourself what the story is and if/how you can change it. Then wait for the answers, trust and act.
Remember…a caterpillar changes his ENTIRE story to emerge as the butterfly.
Its a beautiful thing. So are we.