Stories are powerful.
When we hear, read or see a story (fiction or not), it frees up our imagination to stretch itself and develop a connection to experience that story in our own way; a hundred different people could watch the same film, yet since 'we view the world not as it is, but as we are,' each one of those people would experience it differently, ka pai? ok? A positive and productive experience could mean taking inspiration from a quote or book, or something we've heard and turning it into a story; in the form of art, film or capturing what can't be put into words with a photograph. It could be appreciating the story that is our life and being grateful for what we have and what is to come.
A negative experience could be how the media operates to spread stories of chaos and war which instil fear and distress into the souls of its consumers. But we talked about how some of the major problems and issues we see on a global scale can be traced by whakapapa, back to those same problems within the individual in the last post, so how about we reel it back in, and consider the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. You know, the stories we tell ourselves about; why we can't do something, why someone else is better for the job than us, why we're not worthy, why we can't wear those clothes, why this and that....
“Koi whakarongo koe ki te kōrero iti, ko te kōrero iti ka tahuri nā ko te hau aitū. Kīhai te kanohi i titiro, ko te taringa tē whakaaronga.”
“Deafen your ears to the insignificant, and negativity; such things will cause your demise. Let your eyes see not, and your ears acknowledge not..”
An excerpt from the ōhāki (chant, dying wish) my tupuna (ancestor) Houmaitawhiti bestowed upon his people before they departed for Aotearoa, NZ. And it's as relevant now as it was hundreds of years ago.
We convince ourselves, we tell ourselves a story - based on the conditioning from our environment - that we'll back up with a hundred and one justifications and reasons why we're not *insert value here* enough. And these stories ohhhh let me tell you, they are very real. In our own heads, in our mind, our thoughts, aaaaaaand that's about the only place. These stories feel real because we tell that same story of negative, inadequacy over and over that we commit to it, we invest and attach our feelings to it and inevitably; start to believe it as truth. They're backed up by very inconsistent/changeable external measures of worth or value, such as appearance, beauty, success and wealth.
I know because I do it. I used to fabricate these 'true' stories but by becoming aware that these thoughts are based on external values that aren't my own, by becoming aware that negative self-talk has no return/there's no gain from it, by realising that these truths aren't even true at all; I've been able to dismiss the insignificant and negativity and focus my attention on creating a more positive and constructive story to bring out my best self.
I started to observe what situations would induce negative or positive Hana-stories; who I spent time with or after leaving their company would have me feeling better or worse about myself* and what tasks pulled me into replaying stories of self-doubt, self-consciousness and plummeting self-confidence. This is an ongoing process by the way, because we grow and experience new things, we constantly have to be aware of how we engage with them. Anyway, once I started to bring awareness to these areas, I started to pull apart why the Hana-story in my head would turn from positive, love the world and grateful for everything and everyone in it to; I'm not worth any of it, I should just quit, I'm making a fool of myself and the other rubbish we put on repeat in our minds.
For example, when I'm with these people, they gossip and complain a lot of the time which subconsciously encourages me to do the same. When I do this, it goes against what I believe in which affects me in every way imaginable. When I do this, I have no connection to it and so leaves me feeling fake and like I'm wasting oxygen that could be used by someone to do something worthwhile and meaningful.. does this sound familiar? The progression to this, is doing something about it. You've figured out what pulls you into that negative state of mind, you've analysed why, now it's time to decide whether it's a cycle you want to keep, change or eliminate all together.
Stories are powerful.
The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are extremely powerful and impact the way we see the world. The story we tell ourselves determine our beliefs > which determine our values > which contribute to how we behave and how we act > which impact the final result.°
If we focus on getting that story right, on telling ourselves the best truth and disregarding the negative self-talk, watch how it will affect everything else and flow into every area of our lives.
*Not in an ego-centric way; in a good energy, filling up my heart with good feels and thoughts, adding value way. Maybe a little bit of ego on the side..
°Final result of the work we produce, the relationships we build, the way we carry ourselves, the manner in which we deliver...