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  • SuePattonThoele

Revising Our Stories

Because parents are human, very few of us had completely idyllic childhoods. Less-than-ideal experiences usually provide growth opportunities that assist our development. However, when feelings evoked by childhood experiences haunt us into adulthood, healing is called for. In my twenties, before I knew beans about psychology or metaphysics, Annabelle—who would become my spiritual mother and mentor—helped me overcome lingering pain from a childhood memory through a visualization she called “grafting a new childhood.” My ignorant—I say that with affection—twentysomething self was

highly skeptical.

Annabelle guided me through revising a story I’d created about a particularly hurtful incident and helped me craft a happy ending. Much to my amazement, I felt better. Who knows, maybe that was the first baby step on an eventual career path.

Your subconscious mind believes what you tell it, especially when the narrative is accompanied by feeling (the more intense, the deeper the belief). Feeling-energy becomes truth to the subconscious mind. Because it has no capacity to edit, like a trusting child, your subconscious absorbs whatever you provide. Since feeling-energy is the result of thoughts, and thoughts are gathered into stories, it behooves us to imbue our stories with uplifting energy.

Take a moment to think of a story you’re telling yourself. It can be something weighty from childhood or a simpler story such as “I bet they think I was awful to say ___ yesterday!” Immerse yourself in the story. After a couple of minutes, notice what you are feeling. If the feelings aren’t great, create a new story. A feel-good one. Outlandish is A-OK, and you as the heroine is recommended. After musing on the new story for a while, notice your feelings again. If you find yourself stuck in the concepts of “truth or reality,” remember, if reimaging events transforms the energy of difficult emotions, who cares what “reality” is/was/may be? If changing your story allows painful energy to dissipate or transform into positive uplifting feelings, mission accomplished!

During your day...

  • Inner stories create feelings. Choose to revise pain- provoking stories into ones that generate happier, more self-supportive feelings.

  • Treat yourself to a few fairytale endings.

What happens is of little significance compared with

the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events

matter little, only stories of events affect us.

—Rabih Alameddine

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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