Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tell a different story.....

A quote about one of  Dr. Luskin's workshops.... from a post on the  Forgiveness Retreats Blog....

For me, the best thing about the workshop was the background in Cognitive Psychology he provides on “Tell The Story Differently.” When we tell the story of how we’ve been hurt over and over again we reinforce the message that we are a victim and we create in our consciousness hostility.
No doubt, heinous, unbelievably tragic things come into our lives...and no matter how we spin them, they are still heinous and unbelievably some situations, we embellish the facts a bit....and perhaps add to them, distort them...exaggerating things in a mountain out of a molehill kind of way. Which reminds me of something I read in Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth.....
This story illustrates the uniquely human ability to cling to the past by holding on to our stories.

When two ducks get into a fight, it never lasts long — they soon separate and fly off in opposite directions. Each duck then flaps its wings vigorously several times. This releases the surplus energy that built up in him during the fight. After they flap their wings, they fly on peacefully as if nothing had ever happened.

Now, if the duck had a human mind, this scene would go very differently. The duck may fly away peacefully, for a moment, but he would not put the fight behind him. He would keep the fight alive in his mind, by thinking and story-making.

The duck’s story would probably go something like this: “I can’t believe what he just did. He came within five inches of me. He has no consideration for my private space. He thinks he owns this pond. I’ll never trust him again. I know he’s already plotting something else to annoy me with. But I’m not going to stand for it. I’m going to teach him a lesson he will never forget.”

And in this way the duck’s mind spins its tale, still thinking and talking about it, days, months, or even years later. He man never see his adversary again, but that doesn’t matter. The single incident has left its impression and now has a life of its own deep within the duck’s mind.

As far as his body is concerned, the fight is still continuing, and the energy his body generates in response to the imaginary fight is emotion, which in turn generates more thinking. This becomes the emotional thinking of the ego. The emotions feed the story and the story feeds the emotions. Endlessly. Unless the duck chooses to recognize that the fight is over, unless he drops the story, he will suffer from the endless cycle of his mind’s creation.

You can see how painful and troublesome the duck’s life would become if he had a human mind. But this is how most of us live all the time. For the average person, no situation or event is ever really over and done with. The mind and the mind-made story keep it going.

Unlike the duck, we are a species that has the power to remember, which is both wonderful and problematic.

Our duck has an important lesson to teach us and his message is this: Flap your wings, which means “let go of the story,” and live your real life — here and now, in the present moment.

~ by Eckhart Tolle
In the Power of Now he says:

Don't let the mind use the pain to create a victim identity for yourself out of it. Feeling sorry for
yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in suffering. from the Power of Now  Tolle
And from Byron Katie...the creator of The Work....

Stories are the untested, uninvestigated theories that tell us what all these things mean. We don’t even realize that they’re just theories.  Byron Katie
More on The Work and how it can help us separate truth from storyline in my next post.....

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