Let Go of the Story

When it hurts so bad, it's because I'm hanging on so tight. - Pema Chodron

Our life is cloaked in stories based on experience. When something validates our story, it makes the groove that much deeper, and the story that much more believable. Our stories create habits that turn into addictions and obsessions. Our stories prevent us from taking risks. They keep us safe and tethered to the material world and all its illusions. Our stories keep us small; because as long as our ego tells us we are unworthy, lacking, and not enough, it holds all the power.

What story have you been telling yourself?

One of my stories when I was little was, if I can keep adults happy, nothing bad will happen. So I smiled and obliged and took on the insane burden of making others happy, even at the expense of myself. Smiling faces became my security blanket, and anything else induced fear and guilt. What's wrong? Is it my fault?

Another story I tell myself is, once my partner finds someone better, he will leave. And there's always someone better, so it's just a matter of time. Someone new, exciting, beautiful. It's terrifying.

Do I really believe I am that replaceable and that unworthy? Logically, no. But our experiences shape our stories. And when our stories are validated - like when my partner has been lured away - it feeds my story.

The truth is we are all whole, worthy, capable, and beautiful. So anything less than that, is a story. ALL STORIES ARE ILLUSIONS. Which means, we can let our stories go.

If you let go of one story, what would it be?

I let go of my need for approval from others.

I taught several yoga classes over the weekend and it was fun but also unnerving. During class I tried to read faces and expressions - are they enjoying themselves? Is class too easy, too hard? Do they even like me???

I let go of validation and approval from others because I know I am capable of validating myself. I trust my gut. I know if I did my best and taught well, or if I didn't. I am my best critic, as long as I don't turn it into a story in order to cut myself down. We can learn from truth - like when we make a mistake and do it differently next time. We can't learn from a story, a story only holds us back. I suck at... I'll never get this right... I can't... These are stories.

Free yourself from one story. Say it out loud, write it down, remind yourself throughout the day. It WILL come up, and you'll realize how often you revert to the story, and how much it doesn't serve you. I give you permission, you are free to let it go.

Molly Chanson