We all have our stories.
I am talking about our unconscious stories that grow like weeds out from the deep wounds of our lives. Stories layered upon stories that color our perspectives. Stories that affect our relationship with the world and most seriously affect our relationship with ourselves.
From a very young age I experienced an extreme sense of jealousy towards other children – always comparing myself to them and evaluating my worth against them.
The first and worst memory I have of doing it was in kindergarten. Joey O’Grady, a boy from my class, won the Candy Land board game during a school-wide assembly, when his name was pulled from a raffle. I was a little jealous in that moment, wishing it could have been me. However, the feeling escalated to a whole new level when I returned back to my classroom to find all of the other children in my class, as well as the teacher, crowded around him, cheering and congratulating him. The feeling that came over me was so overwhelming that I couldn’t even enter into the room. I just watched in horror through the small glass window in the door, my insides wrenching. I felt frozen, nearly blinded, with jealousy and self-hatred. I felt like my world had turned dark and the floor beneath me was gone. My teacher looked up and saw me standing there, so I instantly ran off to the bathroom to hide and cry. I cried and cried, filled with an absolute feeling of worthlessness – a feeling that because he won and I lost, because he was the one who got all that attention and not me, that I didn’t even deserve to be alive. It was complete humiliation and I was devastated.
I have looked back upon that moment so many times along my journey and wondered where that feeling came from. How could I have interpreted that small and silly situation with so much pain? I have taken it apart again and again because that same feeling has reared it’s ugly head on many more occasions over the course of my life. In relationships, in the face of failure, and at times even in front of other’s good fortunes. The thing is, I have tried to project my hurt onto other people through so-called ‘jealousy’ but it’s only because I was trying to destroy myself. It’s not about other people at all actually. It’s all about me. I have come to know it as a paralyzing sense of shame. It is such an intensely deep lack of self-worth, a total instinct to sabotage myself. And sometimes I do sabotage myself – both inside and out. I fail, I fall, I lose, I hurt others, and I attract others who hurt me.
How could this same feeling show up so many times in so many different moments of my life? How could I keep re-creating new situations that cause me to wind up back at that same feeling? Totally new situation, same exact feeling. The reason is because it was not about that situation. It had nothing to do with it. It was all about my story. A story that had been hiding deep within and made it’s appearance on that day in kindergarten, and has repeatedly manifested itself for the last thirty years. It is a built-in belief that I shouldn’t exist. A deep and excruciating story that I’m not wanted, and that I don’t belong here on this Earth. That somehow, even the Earth itself doesn’t want me. And any sort of life situation – small or big – that shows others to be better or more fortunate than me in any way, sets off that threat. With it, my whole body, my whole being, seizes in self-doubt and self-defense. It’s as if there is a wounded girl who has lived inside of my heart believing this story for so long. Imagine how afraid she has been!
No-one ever told me this story, that’s why it was really hard to identify for a long time. My parents were only kind and loving to me. It was just imprinted in my information. It feels like it was a story that grew in my cells and bones as I grew inside of the womb of a woman who didn’t want me. I am not blaming Kate, this was just how life happened. I think I was born believing that I had done something terribly wrong. Or perhaps I had concluded it after lying in a crib with no name and no parents for ten days. Whenever or however it came to be, it is most certainly in there, and I have done a tremendous amount of work on bringing it to awareness, so that I can take back conscious control of myself, my moments, my life.
Because the thing is, this story isn’t real. IT’S JUST A STORY. No matter how deep it runs, it is not who I really am. I awakened this knowing long ago, but it took me a long time to accept it. I mean, to deeply accept it into my being. I am still accepting it today.
Who I really am is beyond this story. I began before this story began. I am Life. Life Itself. Pure Life. I have unlimited potential and unlimited power of creation. This is my true value. My Absolute Value. This value cannot be compared to others. It’s worth cannot be damaged or dissipated. “We are individual flowers blooming on a single tree called Life.” We are from Oneness and will return to Oneness. I am a beautiful flower among all the many-colored flowers of Life. And there is absolutely nothing that can ever threaten this.
Realizing this, and actually feeling it in my heart, in my body and my entire being, has brought great healing to me. It is my truth and my liberation. Now, I am breathing a new story into me. And this is the real story. I am not who I thought I was. I am not a victim of my circumstance and I don’t have to live as one anymore. If I do fall into victim consciousness, then it is my choice. Now, I can take my power back. My story isn’t real. It never was. It is a true cause for celebration!
There are times when it still comes up. But now I know what to do. I can observe. I can breathe. I can smile. I can say, “I hear you. I know your pain. But you are not real. Thank you. I love you.”
Now, I begin to discover what true inner freedom is. I continue my quest. Awakening the truth inside is one thing, but it takes a continued effort and practice to keep polishing it and making it shiny. Sometimes, it is just a matter of seeing that I have slipped into the cage again, so that I can simply step out. There is a great joy and lightness that comes with that.
As I said, we all have our stories. I hope that you who is reading this also come to know that your story isn’t real. That you are something far greater than the wounds and beliefs that have perhaps been imprisoning you, as they have done to me. That you are not a victim of your life. That you are free.
I have a lot of passion about this. We all deserve our freedom – it is our birthright! I teach a class using the tools of Brain Education that helped me to go into my body and find how to take ownership of my stories so that I can write a new story – the one I really want. One time, a student who was taking my class later sent me a poem that reminded her of this very point that I am trying to make. I want to share that poem here with you ~
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
I walk down another street.