The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The grooves of brain coral remind me of the chemical grooves worn into our brains by the stories we repeat to ourselves, the stories we re-live over and over again.
The grooves of brain coral remind me of the chemical grooves worn into our brains by the stories we repeat to ourselves, the stories we re-live over and over again.

The brain is an amazing organ upon which we depend for survival. It’s like the movie director of the body giving directions that enable us to move, breathe, think…the list seems endless. Chemicals in the brain transmit thoughts and create neural grooves, like grooves in a record album, and the more we practice the thoughts associated with a particular groove, the deeper it becomes.

Take the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It’s a small part of the brain that acts like a filter between the conscious and subconscious mind. It takes instructions from the conscious mind and passes them along to the unconscious mind. And here’s the amazing part: It cannot distinguish between real and synthetic reality. It believes whatever message you give it.

By repeating the same, old stories to ourselves, we stay stuck in the traumatic event, unable to create a better life.
By repeating the same, old stories to ourselves, we stay stuck in the traumatic event, unable to create a better life.

For instance, if you had a bad experience in your past that was very traumatic and created a deep scar on your life, you focus on the event and think about it for years creating messages you continue to send to your subconscious mind. If your spouse was unfaithful and your relationship dissolved and you lost everything, this negative experience replays over and over in your mind. When you have other relationships, your conscious mind tells your subconscious mind the story associated with your relationship experience. If you haven’t healed those old messages, then your mind creates scenarios where you believe your current partner is doing the same thing as the original partner who was unfaithful. You begin to act as if it’s happening again, your behavior becomes suspicious, you withdraw and the current spouse is clueless as to why you are angry, upset and blaming for no reason. The end result? Your relationship ends and your storyline is reinforced.

SimoneLipscomb (23)
BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill…I documented this for a year while I lived in North Carolina. It took me a very long time to free myself from this trauma.

Or perhaps you have an experience of an environmental disaster and witness, first-hand, the death, destruction and devastation caused by such an event. Your mind creates a negative experience and communicates daily messages through your RAS in your brain. The result? Depression, anxiety, frustration, anger and the message of gloom and doom.

We can apply this to each of our lives in many situations. What is the message we are telling ourselves? What are we creating by telling ourselves the same stories? Without judgment we can look at our self-talk and the thoughts we dwell on and begin to unravel the tales we tell ourselves, the stories that can make us leave life, give up hope and withdraw into our own self-created hell.

We chain ourselves to past trauma when we continue to tell ourselves the same story.
We chain ourselves to past trauma when we continue to tell ourselves the same story.

Quite simply put, whatever we think about, picture in our minds, repeatedly on a daily basis and put emotional energy into is what we experience. We might have been victims of a tragic event or illness, but how we choose to move forward from those events becomes vital to the quality of our lives and the possibility of a bright future.

When we live stuck in the past, reality is overshadowed by the event that happened in the past. The tragic event becomes bigger than real life.
When we live stuck in the past, reality is overshadowed by the event that happened in the past. The tragic event becomes bigger than real life.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote of the evolution of consciousness in three levels described as the Camel, Lion and Child. The camel is sleepy, self-satisfied and dull and lives on delusion, thinking he’s everything, the ultimate but is so concerned with other’s opinions that has hardly any energy of his own.

Coming from the Camel is the Lion. Nietzsche wrote that once we realize we’ve been missing life, we begin to say ‘no’ to the demands of others and we don’t allow ourselves to be used. We find ourselves alone, by choice, proud and roaring in our truth. But he reminds us that this isn’t the end.

SimoneLipscomb (15)The Child emerges from the Lion as innocent and true to his or her own being. Moving from the depression and sleepy state of the Camel to the rebellious Lion, the Child finally emerges as spontaneous and centered, whole.

_TSL3955When we dare to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves, we can become full expressions of our most authentic selves. There’s no need to repeat the same stories of our wounded past or expect that those who love us will repeat the same behaviors that created the wounds. And on a macrocosmic level, if we dare to stop repeating the same stories and envision a planet of health, peace and love…well, anything is possible. It’s time to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves….and create new ones.

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: