Did you ever have something terrible happen? Something that really brings up strong emotions? I mean something small and wee or something that's really huge? Of course, we all have. A small thing might be that your neighbor's dog barks a lot and it drives you crazy or someone just gave you a mean look or your friend won't talk to you over something that happened a long time ago. A big thing might be that your long time partner left you and you struggle getting over the heartache or you were just diagnosed with a critical infection or disease or you just got laid off and have no job prospects. These are all terrible life situations that can cause us suffering.
What makes the suffering worse? Telling everyone your woes or as I say "Telling your story"; the story that is always present on your mind about what terrible thing is happening now or next or might happen soon. These stories only brings us more worry, stress and dis - ease!
"But wait", you might say, "I need to share my story with people." "It gives me comfort to be able to tell others. I need to vent and I need some confirmation that I am right or justified. I want to receive sympathy from others and then that tells me that they care about me when they can confirm that I am right! Letting it out, complaining, worrying and stressing over these terrible situations helps me." But does it really? How does it make you feel emotionally and physically every time you "tell your story" to someone? It may seem to make you feel better temporarily to receive that confirmation or sympathy but I'm here to tell you that in the long run it only creates more suffering for you and for others. This "storytelling" can manifest as physical illnesses that may start as something small and grow and grow as the negative talk continues. The body holds all of this emotional pain or as a popular book by Bessel Van der Kolk, MD. says "The Body keeps the score".
I read somewhere once that you get to tell your story three times and after that you must drop it! If you can tell it just once then that's even better. So, what can you do next once you drop it? You can begin to focus on your new "story". The new story will be all about the solution instead of the problem.
So what does focusing on the solution look like? It's voicing what you wish for and intend to happen. It's using affirmations and gratitudes to think and speak about what you intend. For example, whenever I speak about my recent eye surgery I don't complain about the difficulties of experiencing compromised sight (I didn't even like writing that sentence down), instead I say "It is healing everyday and my vision is even better than before." Now I have just put the energy out into the world of positive results and what I desire to happen. Another thing we can focus on is the lessons that are being offered to us through life's difficulties. Find the lesson in everything that happens to you especially the challenging and upsetting things. Only through those situations will the doorway to change open up the most.
So the next time you hear yourself telling your story remember that no problems were ever solved by complaining and if you are to move forward and be happy (what we all wish for in life) then begin to focus on the solutions. Set all of your thoughts, attention, emotions and energy on the solution!
As you practice this--catching yourself telling the story and then finding solutions through positive affirmations and intentions-- all conflict and worry will begin to cease and your body, mind and spirit (emotions) will be more at ease. You will move through each present moment with lightness and more conscious awareness. The energy you create and then send out through your thoughts, words and actions will help the happiness to rise within you.
Give it a try. When you hear yourself beginning to tell your story, pause and think "will that solve the problem or bring me more peace and happiness?" and when the answer is "No!" begin to set your thoughts on what will!
I work on this every day. When I am getting ready to meet with a friend for lunch I think about what we can talk about and sometimes I think about what juicy gossip I might tell and then I think again. I end up sharing stories of insight I had or a book I read or I ask them some deep questions about life or about their favorite vacation or memory and the visit ends up bringing us closer and I leave feeling joyful and more connected.
This simple practice can solve many of life's problems. It can bring an awareness to how many stories we build up in our minds constantly throughout the day. Maybe we don't even say the story out loud but our thoughts can create so many scenarios that aren't even happening now and may never happen. Stay present. Find the gratitudes in every moment and drop the story to release the worry!
Love, Hugs and Namaste,