Rewriting Our Stories
I’ve noticed an interesting pattern emerge over the past year as I’ve written my Reflections on Reality: The entry I post often isn’t the entry I start writing. For example, I started writing this entry last week, and when I was about 800 words into it I realized that it just didn’t feel right. I was speaking from my head more than I was speaking from my heart. So, I waited until I was less grounded and more “in the clouds” before I started to write again.
Yes, you read that correctly. I said less grounded and more in the clouds. That may seem to defy conventional wisdom, but I’ve found that when I channel my writing the words flow more easily than when I try to think my way through it.
I remember reading a long time ago that fiction writers don’t write their stories as much as they rewrite their stories. Having written plenty of fiction in my day, I can say from my own experience that’s true… and the same holds true of blog writing – at least for me. I rewrite my blogs more than I write them. Sometimes my first draft is my final draft, but that’s only when I’ve written from a place of total connectedness.
And that brings up an interesting question I wanted to ask this week: Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you could rewrite your own story?
The good news is that you can. Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. When I first started my own personal awakening, I heard many times that “every day is a new beginning!” I used to roll my eyes whenever someone said that, but when I started to actually treat every day as an opportunity to start fresh, I discovered that hmmmm, maybe there’s something to this “new day, new beginning” thing. Truth be told, I used to call it “new day bullshit,” but when I changed my attitude and my approach (because my old patterns certainly weren’t working), I started seeing the value of leaving the past in the past, not worrying about the future, and focusing on the present.
Time is a funny thing. When you get into the realm of quantum physics, the idea of past, present, and future existing simultaneously can really twist your brain into knots if you’re not a physicist or mathematician. In overly simplistic terms, the concept of linear time is an illusion. Albert Einstein showed us this principle with his Special Theory of Relativity. Mathematically, it is possible to move backward and forward through time, even if we haven’t figured out the logistics of how to move physical matter through time. Energetically however, we move through time every day, and we do so instantly.
I can demonstrate this with the example of a conference call. Every week I participate in a video call where the parties are scattered around the globe. For me, it’s late afternoon on Tuesday, but for the folks calling in from Australia, it’s early to mid-morning on Wednesday. In very real terms, I’m speaking to people in my future, and those same people are speaking to me in their past, but from the perspective of everyone on the call, we’re speaking to each other NOW. Although we’ve joked about the time zone differences and the future/past thing, we don’t dwell on the idea because our brains would go into meltdown.
Here’s the beauty of how the Law of Now applies to us: Whatever happened in our childhood, or five years ago, or even five minutes ago doesn’t have to define our lives NOW. We can literally choose, in this very instant, to let go of whatever it is that’s bothering us or causing us emotional discomfort and start writing a new story. We can let go of the judgment and self-criticism and start speaking and thinking in new ways that feel better. The story we tell NOW is the only one that matters.
That’s not to say that we’re not going to have times when we revert to old habits or stories. We’ve been telling those stories for years, or in some cases our entire lives. The stories are familiar, they’ve been embellished, and they roll off our tongues with the ease of rain falling from the sky. As my friend Andy Dooley says in his Vibration Activation program, “You can’t jump directly from the bitch train to the bliss train.” There has to be a time of transition from old to new, a time when we build a bridge between the bitch train and the bliss train so we can cross over. How long that takes depends on how we feel, but we can start our transition NOW through telling stories that feel good in the telling of them, and we can keep telling those good-feelings stories in every NOW we experience until we find ourselves riding the bliss train.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that differentiating between an old familiar stories and new, good-feeling stories isn’t always easy. Familiar stories may feel good precisely because they’re familiar. The feeling of familiarity often masks itself as a good feeling, when in fact the opposite is true. Just because we’ve grown accustomed to feeling sad or unhappy doesn’t mean we’re actually feeling good. When we talk to friends and all we do is complain, or when we’re tempted to give into feelings of resignation, or when we say things like, “that’s just the way it is,” we’re getting indicators that we’ve settled into patterns of familiarity.
Good-feeling stories, on the other hand, ignite feelings of hope or anticipation. Good feeling stories inspire us to do something different “just because,” or they help us recognize that we can change direction RIGHT NOW. When we tell those stories we find ourselves releasing the feelings of guilt or judgment in favor choosing to feel good about new experiences or new things we’ve learned just by being human.
I already said this, but it bears repeating: The only story that matters is the one we tell right now. We can repeat the same old tale that feels familiar but keeps us stuck, or we can tell a new story that makes us nervous, but gives us hope. The choice is ours.
I know my choice. What’s yours?
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He is best known for his work facilitating conversations about the aspects of joyous living with groups around the world.
Appio is driven by a passion to show people how they can be authentic and experience community, connection, and alignment every day by applying the Tenets of Joy to their lives. He is also co-host of the Real Men Feel podcast along with his good friend Andy Grant.