I “got” so much by going through Landmark this past summer, and one of the biggest take aways was the concept of the stories we write out of the events that happen in our lives.
Something happens, and then there is the story we create out of what we “perceive” happened. We add meaning, often full of theatrics, and embellished fantasies, and we interpret the events that took place in a weird-twisted up fashion.
These stories keep us in a vicious circle, trapped and prevented from truly living.
The stories became our identity. We carry them around like a toddler carriers around a worn out blankie. But the stories are not protecting us – in fact they only end up harming us and keep us from living a life full of freedom and peace.
Landmark is INTENSE and quite grueling to sit through. I watched people go up to the microphone and share the most gut-wrenching stories of abuse, torture and childhood abandonment, and the seminar leader would listen to their stories, and say “I am sorry you got dealt that hand. I really am. And at the same time, your tears are not buying me anything!…It is time to put the past in the past. You can’t create the life you want by carrying around this story.” It wasn’t done in such a brief manner — but in a nut-shell that is what they were trying to accomplish – trying to break people of carrying around these stories that were causing more harm than good.
It was uncomfortable to watch and yet I “got it”.
Horrible-awful-horrendous events are going to happen — it is simply inevitable living in a world full of imperfection. Sickness, disease, wars, abuse, broken relationships, accidents and disappointment are all bound to pound on our door.
It isn’t so much the horrible events, but the stories that we create out of those events that cause us the most harm in the end.
Life is going to deliver us poison at one point or another — and yet “swallowing the poison” only takes place when we create a story that we refuse to budge from.
Everyone that got up to the microphone at Landmark felt “entitled” to their story and they had a million reasons for existing in the semi-disfunctional state they were in.
I realized in that moment that feeling “entitled” does not get us anywhere. In fact, it keeps us stuck in a lot of muck and poison. I would rather give up my “stories” and create a life that I LOVE versus being defined by the horrible events that may have happened to me.
We are ALL such amazing-powerful-beings. But we are playing EXTREMELY small by letting our entitled stories run our lives. Our “stories” or the events that happen to us – are not our identities – how we choose to show up in the world, how we choose to move through the gruesome-reality-shattering events — that is what defines us, that is what shapes our identities. We truly are bigger than any circumstance that could ever happen to us. And yet, when we feel entitled to stay stuck in our story – we stay stuck in our lousy circumstance versus figuring out how to move forward.
Entitled attitudes always make me sad. It makes me sad because I see the person who is acting entitled swimming in a sea of hurt. They feel like they have a right to act the way they do, due to the awful hand life has dealt them. They feel like they are owed some kind of reward for their hardship.
There are no prizes for having the most burdensome life. There are no rewards for having suffered. And keeping ourselves stuck in “Poor me, I am owed BIG TIME because X happened to me”, will only prevent us from obtaining the life we deeply, authentically desire.
Can you let go of your “stories”? Can you let go of feeling entitled? Can you create a life you love versus being cemented to what you feel you are owed?
I am done playing small. I am done feeling entitled because my circumstances may have been crappy. I am ready to create. Create an amazing-spectacular-dynamic life.
Are you with me!? Let’s carry our souls NOT our stories around from now on….