Life is not just about what happened to you, it’s about how you interpret what happened to you. You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end." Don't let a hard chapter in your life stop you in your tracks. There is great power in figuring out what you don’t want, on the way to figuring out what you do. Here are 5 ways:
What we focus on grows. The idea is to not deny the ENERGY surrounding your experiences but to TRANSMUTE it to move you forward.
1. Perspective - Where You Are Coming From?
In a journal or on a piece of paper, create a timeline across the page, from birth to where you are now. If you were telling your story to someone you just met, what would be the 5 pivotal moments and chapters you would highlight? These can be positive moments, but also those that may have scarred you or made you suffer. All of these together have been pivotal in designing how you feel right now about life, your capacity to succeed, relationships, all of it.
2. Name it to Tame it – say goodbye to what you don’t want to bring into your next chapter
Beside each point on your timeline, notice what emotions come up. Take your time in excavating how you felt, and get prepared to transmute the energy attached to these situations. Mindfulness Coach Angie Johnson suggests, “ Imagine that you are pulling the threads of that emotion out of the storybook and releasing it into the universe. Spend time saying goodbye to those old feelings.” It could be “thank you for trying to keeping me safe – I’m ready for a bigger life.”
3. From Trauma to Post Traumatic Growth
Consider that there may have been more to what happened than you were aware of. If you knew how the other people in your story were suffering, would that change your existing interpretation? A few years ago, I learned that my mother herself was traumatized by her own childhood, witnessing huge arguments between her parents. It probably did not feel safe for her to confront this directly as a child, so in her relationship with my father, the conflict came out as a passive-aggressive approach. For years I wondered why she wasn’t as emotionally available as I would have liked, but now I understand more. We recreate what we want to heal. This helps me rewrite the story of my childhood, and makes me want to share what I’m learning, which is part of post-traumatic growth.
“What did you learn, and how has it made you stronger? Do you have greater insight, more compassion, understanding, and appreciation for the situation you found yourself in?
4. Forgive Yourself
The most important person in your story to forgive is yourself. You were trying your best with the information and the power that you had. You did the best you knew how. This is a good time to not only forgive yourself, but forgive life, God, whatever for putting you in these situations. Focus instead on what did I learn, how did it make me stronger, and how do I want to feel going forward.
5. Calling In your future self
Imagine you have a wise peaceful, and kind future self that can guide you to be the hero rather than the victim in your story. What is the life you want? When you are in the quiet moments, grab a journal and ask, "Future Self – you turned out great. What would you have me know right now to move me forward? I am willing to open to peace, more love, more fulfillment – what is the best way?" Trust your inner knowing and write without judgment. You may be surprised at what comes through.
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