The info you need to digest in this post is like a 5-course meal. Not a 10-piece Chicken McNugget meal.
Are you ready??
As we go through our events and our stories (remember Session 1?), there is a law of nature that I want you to keep in mind.
According to Keith Kochner of mentorfish.com (to whom all the credit for this series goes to), there are two rules or laws in people.
It is this second law that we’re going to be looking at in the next 2 sessions.
As we start — I want you to grab your journals. Flip to a brand new page.
On the top half of the page, draw a line. Then, on the middle of the line, draw a house.
Under the line, draw two lines going down to the bottom of the page. It should look like this:
Imagine that this house is in a neighborhood. All the people of the neighborhood get together, and they all just want more. More time, more money, more balance. Just MORE.
And so someone in this neighborhood says, “If we all paint our roofs green, we’ll have more.” The community kinda shrugs. It doesn’t really make sense, but no one else has come up with a better idea. Sure enough, one person paints their roof green, then another and another. Soon, everyone has painted their roofs green.
But they don’t have more. (Except for more green roofs.)
Finally, someone else ventures that if they just paint all the shutters blue, they’ll have more. Sure enough, everyone eventually gets on board, and all the houses soon bear blue shutters.
Except yet again, no one has more.
Keith shared with us that most of us, when we are trying to improve our lives (our houses, if you will), we focus on the surface of our lives. We focus on how-tos (How to be a better person. How to remain positive. 10 steps to significance. 5 must-haves to be productive.) We focus on motivation.
We may as well just be painting the exterior of our houses.
Keith says we have to dig deeper. If we want to change, if we want MORE, we have to look at the foundation of our house.
What you have allowed into your foundation is the basis of everything in your life.
Time to get back to your diagram.
In the left hand column, I want you to write: “Self awareness is the ability to look at the stories in your foundation.”
Below this, I want you to write your 3-4 events. Do you remember those?
Now, I really, really want you to get this part.
Our human nature cannot stand for anything to happen to us that does not have meaning. And so we create meaning to each event to make sense of it. 9 times out of 10 we create a negative meaning.
Each event on it’s own is neutral. (Now friends, bear with me here. I know most of us have lost a child. And he almost lost me here, because I wanted to yell, “The death of a child is not neutral.” So I get you — just hang on.)
OK, each event in itself is neutral. We attach the meaning.
Our child’s life was important because we believe God has created each life and had purpose for it. We grieve our child because we loved them. We know that each little person is unique and can never be replaced.
You see, we attach meaning based on our views, based on truth of God’s word, and with our own emotions.
When a traumatic event happens, we can’t stand for it to not have meaning. It goes against our DNA.
And so no only to we attach meaning — But we create a story that goes with each event based on that meaning.
On your journal, in the middle column, I want you to write “Beliefs.”
Now write down some one-word beliefs or meanings that you took from each experience. Some might be positive — they are not always bad. For the purpose of this exercise, I wrote down some negative beliefs I took from these experiences.
Subconsciously we create these beliefs. And then we turn these beliefs or meanings into a story. Spend some time mediating on what your stories are. To help you, I’ve written mine out.
Here are my stories:
Event: Infertility/pregnancy loss
Story: I do not deserve God’s blessings that come easily and naturally to everyone else.
Event: HELLP Syndrome
Story: My body cannot be trusted.
Event: Boys breaking up with me in college.
Story: If someone truly knew who I was on the inside, they would break up with me.
Event: Loss of my promotion and pay raise.
Story: I don’t have whatever it takes to be successful. I am found lacking.
OK. Those are my stories.
I want you to take some time now and really contemplate what your stories are. What have you told yourself to be true about your event?
Go reheat your coffee. Hide in the bathroom from your kids if you need to. Do whatever you need to do to get some quiet, some solitude, and a chance to really contemplate your stories.
I’m going to end the post here. I’ll go ahead and write the second post now, so if you do this exercise, and you’re ready to move forward, it’s there waiting for you. But please, do not read ahead without doing this work.
I promised you’d have to do some work — so here it is.
Good work, girls, getting this far.
See you in Session 4.