When is the last time that you sat down and read a really good story? For some it could be last night and for others maybe not since school. Here's another question! When is the last time you told yourself a really good story?
Chances are that you are telling yourself stories everyday and you don't even realize it.
What if I told you that every encounter you have, whether with someone new or someone you know, you are creating a story in your mind about the interaction. You are coming into it with preconceived ideas about the person and how they feel, and much of the time, your story is wrong, This was probably one of the most important concepts that I have learned, in helping me deal with other people and situations.
I remember sitting in a five day workshop and hearing different people respond to the same situation, and how different many of the answers were to mine. It was then that the facilitator introduced the concept of personal filters. We all have a filter that our mind has created, from our past experiences and relationships, and every new piece of information that goes through our mind, goes through this filter and creates our story.
An example would be that you we bitten by a dog as a child. Your mind has added to your filter that dogs bite. So now every interaction that you have with a dog, your mind is telling you that it will result in a bite.
Here's another example. You are in a relationship with someone and your partner cheats on you, multiple times. You end the relationship, but as soon as you get into your next relationship, your mind is already telling you that your partner will cheat. So you start reacting to them in that manner. Even though this partner hasn't done anything wrong. Your filter is there telling you a different story.
It is also important to understand that the people we are interacting with, also have their own filters, and stories based off of the experiences that they have had in their lives. So their reactions will be different than our own. So when they are responding differently, it's because their mind has interpreted it differently, and to them it is their truth.
So how do we deal with these stories? What we need to understand is that the stories that our mind has created, are created with our best interest at heart (our safety), but they may in fact not be what's best for us. Stories that our mind created to protect us as children, may need to change now that we are adults. To do this we always come back to the practice of mindfulness. You need to become mindful of your stories, and be able to honestly analyze whether we are dealing with truth or story Ask yourself "Is this story really true, or am I allowing my past experiences to affect my current reaction?"
When we look objectively at our lives and our relationships and experiences, we will see patterns that continue to pop up. The patterns will repeat until we change our story, and our job as the author of our life, is to change our story if it isn't working for us. We have the ability to edit and rewrite our stories at any time, so it's time to sit down and curl up with your story and decide where you need to clean your filter, so that you can have your "Happily Ever After."