the edges of myself

words, words, words

I’m sorting through a lot of late.  (When am I not?)  But by far the most potent thing seems to be acknowledging and letting go of the stories I tell myself.  (And I tell myself a lot of stories.)  Many of them are based in truth, or partial truth– and have some vague notion of a shared reality.  But then there are those stories that are purely fanciful and have their roots in my mind alone.  My stories are lovely.  They are sweet, and rose-colored and most of them have happy endings (except when they don’t).  The problem with my stories is that I believe them.  I’ve been creating them and tending them for so long that they are real to me– so real that sometimes I can no longer see where my stories end and a shared reality begins.  This is problematic.  

My stories make me feel safe.  They make me feel a sense of control in a world where truly, I AM NOT IN CONTROL.  This is the truth.  I’m going to repeat it, just because I believe it bears repeating:  I AM NOT IN CONTROL– no one is.  Accepting this fact is proving difficult– but ultimately, necessary.  My life of late is full of blaring examples of this fact.  It seems it’s time for me to step up and acknowledge that my stories are simply a way for me to feel that there is something beyond myself and my own choices that I can affect.  But there’s not.  And existing within the warped reality that I’ve been creating for myself by listening to my own rosy stories is really emphasizing that fact. 

I can change the world only so far as I can change myself.  I cannot make anyone do anything.  I cannot will another person’s love or devotion.  I cannot give another person his or her power.  I can only claim my own, and hope that in doing so others will make the choice to claim theirs as well.  And the reality is– this is how change truly occurs.  Healing has an amazing ripple effect, like the surface of a lake when a stone is thrown in– it ripples infinitely.  So too does our own vibration when we make the choice to heal ourselves.    

It’s funny how sometimes I feel so clearly like the sixteen year old girl I remember being– so sure that I had everything figured out.  Really, truly believing that at my tender age I knew it all.  So, here I am, 20 years later, capable of helping to facilitate transformation for others, and coming up against the most basic of human constructs lying smack dab in the middle of my path:  my own stories.  

I’ve revelled for the last couple of months in all the ideas I’ve let go of– societal constructs that no longer served me.  I’ve felt so strong and clear in the unleashing of these ideas– not realizing that the most powerful stories, the ones I cling to with a white-knuckled grip, are my own.  So, now comes the truly awesome task:  LETTING THEM GO.

It’s hard to do.  At once liberating and terrifying– but again, necessary.  And maybe it’s time to breathe life into my stories by acknowledging them for what they are.  Writing them down and sharing them– allowing them to see the light of day, instead of remaining trapped inside the useless cycle in my brain.  I believe my brain deserves a break.  My mind is weary with the constant creation of the realities that exist solely within it– and nowhere else.  

I do believe that every experience that we are presented with in life is an opportunity for growth.  I believe that whole-heartedly.  This is where my control over my life comes in.  I get to make the choice about what to do with all of the beautiful or not-so-beautiful things that are laid before me.  I choose to give my devotion.  I choose to create boundaries.  I choose to step away.  I choose to trust.  I choose to love.  I choose to allow my mind some much deserved peace and quiet.  I choose to externalize my stories, set them free– allow them to be as wild and fanciful as any story ever dreamed it could be.  I choose to acknowledge the vast expanse that lies between the truth and the stories I tell myself.  Because I choose to heal.  I’m ready to grow.  

2 thoughts on “the stories i tell myself

  1. Chris Sanborn says:

    On LETTING THEM GO: Recently I’ve done work on letting go of stories, as well. I breathe, and visualize a balloon. I fill it with the words, thoughts, feelings, stories, whatever it is I wish to release. I watch the balloon rise, filled with contents lighter than air. I follow the balloon to its string, the string to my hand, clenching the string, holding on to the stories. I focus on my clenched grip for awhile. Next I will my hand to loosen its grip, and let go. I watch the balloon, and its contents, float away. I watch it for awhile, until gone from sight. Hope this helps you as well.

    1. mandycregan says:

      awesome Chris, thank you. That’s beautiful. It’s funny, because I have all kinds of ways to help others, but forget that I can utilize them for myself as well. Today, my first day without allowing the pull of my stories, has gone amazingly well. It’s challenging though– not to give into the patterns I know so well. Each day is a new one.

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