The Stories We Write
I have been very amused by my little dog the last few months. I am not certain when the behavior started creeping in, but somewhere along the line, my little guy has started to believe that if he can see the bottom of his food dish, he must not have enough to eat. As he pokes his little nose around in the food and he pushes it up the sides of the bowl, he is convinced that he will starve. As a result he will sit at the pantry door and beg for more food, despite having a full dish. I have tried shaking the food dish and rearranging the food to cover the bottom of the bowl, but with every ounce of his being he wills me to take the food bag out of the cabinet and add a little scoop of food to his dish. Only then, is he satisfied and beliefs he has enough food to eat. Of course there is no explaining to him the illogical nature of his fear. Trust me! I have had many conversations about this with him, but to no avail!
This led me to think about all the false beliefs we carry as humans as well. Beliefs so deeply entrenched that we often don’t recognize them as false beliefs at all. Beliefs really are only thoughts that we have carried for a long time. Think a thought long enough, write a story often enough, and it becomes the belief that governs your behavior and ultimately your life.
I was talking to a new client of mine who was struggling with some of the relationships in her life. She felt unsupported and unimportant. It was causing her tremendous pain. She felt resentful because she always went along with the plans others made, yet felt unable to speak up for herself. When I asked for an example, she stated that whenever she and her girlfriends were going out for lunch, she did not want to suggest a restaurant. She stated that she would be too scared that somebody might not like the food or the service, and she would be blamed for it. In talking and going a little deeper, the pattern she uncovered was that she always believed to be at fault for everything and that she was afraid of her friends being angry with her if the restaurant was not well received. She soon noticed how this pattern was really repeated throughout her life in many different areas.
In our session together, we uncovered the root cause of this belief. She was able to remember the moment that this particular story was written and how she had held that thought for so long that she ultimately believed it to be the truth. When I asked her who she would be if she no longer had to believe that thought, her whole being shifted and lightened. Working with our stories is such powerful and important work. We write hundreds of these stories in a life time and we carry them silently with us. Once they are spoken out loud, they often lose their power pretty quickly. Trusting somebody to hear these stories and to help us unravel them, frees us to live a more authentic and joyful life. Owning our own stories is the most important work we will ever do.
What are some of your beliefs? When you think these thoughts, how do you feel? Do you know these thoughts to be absolutely true? Really true? Who would you be without this belief? Those are the questions that put us on the journey to unraveling the truth of who we really are.
As for my sweet little boy….I wish I could explain to him that there will always be more food and love for him than he could ever need in his lifetime. Sadly I can't, so I will just keep refilling a bowl that will never be empty.