Stories: they're running your life
because you conflate them with reality:
Undoing your disempowering stories.
The facts are sparse and have no juice
“A man snatched my phone. I ran after him and hit him. He cut me with a knife. I was in the hospital for three weeks.”
This next story gives it some juice, doesn’t it?
“The crook grabbed my precious phone from me. I felt violated. I had to get my phone back—so I ran after him and hit him; I was so enraged at this devil. He yanked out a hidden knife and viciously slashed my belly open. I thought I might die and I suffered in the hospital for three weeks. I won’t ever feel safe again on the streets. I am scarred for life. You never know who you can trust.”
But that is just one possible story, just one interpretation, an interpretation that creates hell on earth.
Here’s a different story, with a different type of juice.
“A strange man quickly took the phone from my left hand, where I had left it vulnerable. In retrospect, I can imagine the temptation that my very nice phone might have given to him and others. I noticed my machinery taking over as I rushed after him and hit him. Not surprisingly, he reacted in fear and anger and cut me with his knife. I felt so loved and cared for as people began to gather and show concern for my condition. Someone even dialed 911. As I watched the whole drama play out, I felt like I was in this amazing adventure—maybe just a once-in-a-lifetime adventure—I didn’t want to miss a moment of it! As I was recovering for three weeks in the hospital, I saw some new possibilities and insights about my life that I probably would have never had otherwise. That man who cut me will never know what gift he unknowingly gave to me, not that I want him to do it again! LOL...”
This is an interpretation that creates heaven on earth.
“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” -John Milton (English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England, 1608-1674)
How my friend disappeared her blame towards her boyfriend
My friend was upset about a political issue in America involving a Supreme Court nominee. She shared her concern with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend responded with a question about the circumstances that made her angry. She lashed out at him. Then he refused to talk with her any more about the topic. This made her feel unloved and even more angry. She was very stuck in her HOGAB and was suffering deeply. She asked me for coaching. I suggested that she create a new interpretation of her boyfriend’s behavior that would allow her to feel his love and caring. I advised, “My boyfriend was just trying to understand the situation more deeply by asking the question he did. And, then, when I lashed out at him and because he loves me so much, to avoid the upset getting worse between us, he decided the best course of action was to not talk about it anymore.” My friend was able to step into this new interpretation. She called her boyfriend, apologized to him, and told him that he was very smart to refuse to talk with her about that issue.
How my mother dodged a childhood trauma with her inventive interpretation
My mother, an only child at that time, was five years old in 1927. She overheard her parents (who were dirt-poor farmers the mountains of Tennessee) talking about how it would have been much better if their daughter had not been born so soon after they got married.
In overhearing this, my mother’s heart swelled with pride as she told herself, “I was so powerful that I came when I wanted to!”
Two ways to undo your disempowering stories (and beliefs that stimulates your suffering)
The first way to undo disempowering beliefs is to create new empowering beliefs
Our automatic thoughts (which includes our beliefs and interpretations about what happened and what's true or not true) determine the quality of (and influence the results in) our life. The ten-minute cognitive workout is a step-by-step, day-by-day way to change those automatic thoughts into ones that serve you better and remove your suffering. Go here to learn how to set it up.
The second way I call the "Byron Katie" way
Byron Katie is an amazing “coach,” although she probably wouldn’t call herself that. Her specialty is to identify and undo any belief that stimulates suffering.
Another way that Byron Katie can support you in dismantling your HOGAB is by watching her videos on YouTube (over 60,000 available). Just search on “Byron Katie.” Or, if you want to look for something more specific, enter a search string like:
“Byron Katie” guilt
“Byron Katie” depression
“Byron Katie” betrayal
“Byron Katie” anger
“Byron Katie” love
“Byron Katie” suffering
“Byron Katie” freedom
“Byron Katie” fears
“Byron Katie” forgiveness
“Byron Katie” relationships
“Byron Katie” hurt
“Byron Katie” happy
“Byron Katie” approval
You get the idea. I highly recommend her.