One of the interesting things I have been noticing lately is how unconscious people are of the stories they are telling. Sit around a group of people and just observe their assumptions about reality and you can begin to pick up on how often people aren’t being aware of what they are creating. Everyone participates in the conversation as if the statements are fact and I often sit quietly thinking “that’s not the reality I want to create.”
I hear examples of this a lot particularly when it comes to aging. A good friend of mine has had several doctor’s visits and made a comment “Well, we’re getting to an age where we’re going to have a lot of things going on and it will be interesting to see how we all support each other through this.” I immediately picked up on the assumption that as we reach a certain age we would start to have more and more health problems. Most everyone seems to agree with this assessment, but aren’t there plenty of examples of people who have grown old and stayed healthy? I choose to be one of them. As a matter of fact, I choose to get even healthier as I age.
I also overheard someone at a party making a statement “well, life is hard, you know.” Everyone in the circle nodded their heads in agreement. The conversation continued around some problem or story of hardship. Each person added their version except me.
When it came to me, I tried to turn the conversation. I asked the person who had started the conversation by sharing stories of a litany of people she knows who had a particularly bad week and asked “so, what went right in your week?” She didn’t quite know how to answer and when she did, it was less about something that had gone right and more about a conversation she had with someone that made her think of me. Someone else in the circle caught on to what I was asking and rephrased the question to her as “what went right with you last week?” She turned to him appreciative of the question and then took a bit of time before she thought of anything.
Why is it we are conditioned to talk about what is going wrong? The drama of our conversations seem to be made up with stories about negative things. Sure, every now and then you’ll have a person excited about some good news who will share but it seems more often people are talking about things that aren’t very uplifting or positive.
I turned to a friend and mentioned how i end up feeling isolated because I don’t want to participate in those stories and she started talking about being fully present with someone and connecting on a soul level without any judgement. It made me realize that yes, I am feeling judgement about these stories I don’t want to be a part of, but where is the line between being present with what is and being an activate participant in creating what you desire?
I love Pema Chodron and certainly her main message is being present with what is – letting everything come through without getting attached. In many ways, this is the same message that Katie Byron does in her work about loving what is. Of course, what I like about Byron’s work is that she really teaches the skill of reframing and questioning what we perceive as true. But the essence is still loving what is.
I have been thinking a lot about the balance between these two schools of thought. I support the concept and practice of loving what is but I also strongly believe that there is more to it than just that. Somewhere there is also the participation in our creation of what is. So, can I learn to love what is and at the same time use a combination of perception and visualization to create what I want to be.
I’m still in the process of working this out for myself and would love feedback on this paradox. Send me an email or comment on the awakeninginlove Facebook page and let me know your thoughts!