It’s become popular for coaches and spiritual teachers to try to get you to get out of your story, or beyond your story.
Now it’s one thing to understand the way that you think, and to see that your belief system is not “just the way it is.” Too often people think their story of who they are is the truth, when actually it’s a story that they either made up or had given to them at some point. Some of it may be true, but much of it isn’t.
Because the truth is, any story is partial. By its very nature it’s a perspective, an interpretation, a way of seeing that isn’t the whole story (irony intended).
Okay, clear on that point.
Because the truth is (LOL), I don’t think trying to get out of or beyond “story” is desirable or even possible. “There is no there there” beyond story (to misquote Gertrude Stein).
As human beings we live within narrative, it’s how we make sense of things. Stories have been the way we teach and learn in cultures around the world for thousands of years.
You have perspective. You cannot help but have perspective. Einstein is the one who, using science, demonstrated what literary people have always known: an observer affects what is being observed–that is the power of perspective.
The point isn’t to get beyond story or off story (because you can’t). It’s to know what story you are believing, what perspective you are living through, and if it is serving you. Then you have choice to be the author of your story, rather than at the mercy of a story you don’t even know is running you from deep within your unconscious.
As Caroline Casey would say: which story makes you feel better, Armageddon, or the one where everything works out the way that you want it to? Which one do you choose?
So is the story you are telling yourself about who you are, about your business, about the economy, about the world today, about your clients, about your prospects — is it helping you or is it hindering you?
My take on this is that, yes, you have to become aware of the story you are living inside of. I often ask my clients: what story are you telling yourself about this situation (yourself, that person, this opportunity)? When you really take in the metaphysical truth that you create your reality, then you have to ask yourself what are you creating with your perspective? You have to step back enough to observe the story in which you are the star (whether you like it or not). Is it a tragedy? A comedy? A hero’s journey? A boring novel? A blockbuster movie?
This is the value of triggers and challenges. They reveal your story, IF you approach them this way. IF you realize that the things, people or situations that irritate or infuriate you are sign posts to what’s going on inside of you and the way you are making sense of all that energy. And IF you take responsibility and see this as an opportunity to gain a NEW perspective on yourself.
Then you can begin to create a new story.
And to tell a new one requires imagination. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” (Einstein again).
And the law says: what you give your attention to expands. Don’t use the law against yourself by unwittingly using your imagination to fuel your uncertainty, doubts and fear. Use the law for yourself by stretching your imagination (and your comfort zone) to tell a story that opens, invigorates and empowers you, the more outrageous the better.
Like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, practice thinking unbelievable things, preferably before breakfast to get a good start on the day.
So what’s your story?