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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Once Upon a Time
As little children we often looked forward to hearing a bedtime story as we were being tucked in for the night.
In this story there were often princes and princesses, magical castles, beautiful pastoral settings with fields of flowers and sunshine sprinkled all about. Of course, there was also the evil stepmother or stepfather (or some such figure) who represented trouble but always, always the good prince and princess prevailed in the kingdom. In the end of the story everyone rejoiced and PEACE reigned everywhere.
We loved those stories because they engaged our imagination and desire for drama and also because good always triumphed over evil.
These bedtime stories which soothed the hearts of little children were truly gifts from the angels because the effect of the stories is that little weary bodies relaxed into a place of comfort and safety and let themselves drift peacefully off into the night.
When we grow up, we somehow feel we have to leave our child’s playthings behind. And so we learn to look at the world as a difficult and sometimes jolting place in which we have been planted. And we feel that there are lots of hard knocks to be endured because we are grown up.
And, because we expect that these things will happen, we invite them into our lives. And when they appear, we suffer.
We suffer because we feel someone is doing something to us…Someone is trying to get into our space…or trying to take what is ours…or trying to get us to do something we don’t feel like doing.
This place of victimhood seems to be part of what we believe is our legacy and we feel we just somehow need to endure it.
And yet, an entirely different outcome is possible.
The same loving magic of our childhood still exists and is just waiting for us to recognize it and let it reenter our lives.
This magic is the principle called Changing Our Story.
Alberto Villoldo describes it so beautifully in his book Courageous Dreaming. And here is how it goes.
When something happens “to” us, we feel like a victim…like what is happening is beyond our control and that we have to somehow LIVE with it or, perhaps, we might choose to put up some resistance. In either case, our reaction translates to SUFFERING.
But, and this is so very important, when we change our role from victim to HERO (think the glorious bedtime adventures of your childhood), everything looks different…feels different…those beautiful moonbeams have fallen on our lives and have given us a look into what is really happening on a soul level.
If we truly believe that everything in our lives exists to teach us something (and I do), this totally changes the story of our lives. Our lives become an adventure of discovering what new wisdom and insight await us in each set of circumstances.
We believe that we are loved and guided and are being led to astounding discoveries. We become the hero who finds the gold (think alchemy) in every new challenge.
In this way, we are not only empowering ourselves to learn life’s lessons we are also comforting ourselves as we did with our childhood bedtime stories. If WE become the heroes of our stories, if we accept the challenge of discovering what there is to learn… we are left with feelings of joy and satisfaction.
Like being tucked in by someone who loves us…who has just given us the gift of the bedtime story... but this time we are giving it to ourselves.
Once upon a time…they lived happily ever after!
Not just a childhood fantasy…but a formula for dealing with life.