Updated: Mar 7
Day 50/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: reflective
When it comes to our memories many of us will be focussed on the things that went wrong. The things that didn't work out. The things that didn't meet our expectations of how life should be.
Then there are those that have very little memory of their past. Some who simply can't remember what happened yesterday, and those who cultivate this as a way of being. I wanna be one of then latter!
And of course there are those who have very fond memories, who have many happy and joyful memories and still struggle with adulting.
Me, I was definitely the kind that focussed on the tragedy of life. Everything that went awry. The relationships that didn't measure up, the parents that didn't do a great job, the employer who didn't give me opportunities, the partners that didn't meet my expectations.
Today's challenge is to look into our memories and look for ourselves there, our authentic contribution.
Become an "authenticity" archeologist.
Today be willing to remember. Be prepared to take a closer look through the many layers of our lives, and find the glimpses of our authentic selves.
How we do this is unique to each of us. At each of the stages that we have traversed in our lives, there are many memories rich with laughter and tears. Childhood, adolescence, youth, partnered, parent, perhaps single parent, career, midlife, widowed, aged.
Well and truly in the blame game, I couldn't see my part in the whole drama of my life. Feeling like the victim of circumstances, I fought to elevate myself yet couldn't extract myself from the stickiness of things going wrong.
Patterns kept repeating, patterns that I recognised and couldn't shake.
With making the commitment to really remember the stages and events of my life, I focussed on piecing together some of the happier memories. Searching through old photographs and giving myself a lot of time in reflection, I began to identify the times that I enjoyed.
Then, as I reached further into those times, as I spent more time there, the events and circumstances around them became clearer and I realised that my tragic story had moments of comedy, and questing, and even elements of rebirth.
One thing that wasn't considered very intelligently until more recently, and serves a really important role, is the circumstances of our story, of our memories.
Whatever happens, doesn't happen in isolation. Our responses and reactions, our behaviours, choices and decisions happen in the context of a field of energy and information that we share with everyone and everything present at the time. That field is influenced by many elements including our passed memories and our future expectations.
When we gather the information from this field, we realise that we don't live in a vacuum. Whilst we are responsible for our actions, we are also inherently influenced by the field conditions around us.
Those field conditions include, but are not limited to, the passed and present emotional status of ourselves and others, the event at hand, the responsibilities that we and others were carrying, expectations that all of us had, the weather, the environment, what you were wearing, what you thought you heard, said or saw, whether you were hungry, thirsty, missed breakfast and were late for an appointment. Are you getting the picture? It's the whole deal that informs any particular event or interaction and it is these field conditions we forget when we blame ourselves or others.
It's not about looking out and blaming our circumstances, it's about having realistic expectations, examining our memories, noting some of the field conditions that existed at the time, and allowing ourselves, and others, some grace.
If you come to an impasse when you go down memory lane, your start to feel overwhelmed with familiar emotions a repeat patterns, and you can't see the wood for the trees, know that this is normal, and that you can overcome this with help.
My tragedy has turned into a real life s/hero story. To live joyfully I had to find and focus on the moments of laughter, the rich memories of joy. Finding the balance and understanding the circumstances enabled me to let that victim go.
You are not a prisoner of your story. A story is just that, a collection of memories through your particular lens. Mine was a tragedy. What's yours? My tragedy didn't support my happiness, my contentment, my joy. To change that I needed to shift my focus and shift my way of thinking.
We absolutely know that our brain can rewire. That's the shift you are looking for, and that is the shift your therapist can support you to make. You can of course, do a lot of this work yourself, and I've learned that to accelerate my progress, having someone else to work it through with made all the difference.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.