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Your Past is Simply a Story You Tell Yourself

your past is just a story

I personally know so many people that have spent years in therapy trying to sort out their past in a valiant attempt to discover how it has molded them into the person they are today. Many look to find some person, place, or situation in which to place blame for their shortcomings as if the discovery will somehow repair their faults or bring peace where it did not previously exist. However, I firmly believe that our past is just a story we tell ourselves, and like the saying above, it has absolutely NO power over you!

Have you ever seen one of those “tests” where they observe a group of people witnessing the same event at the same time?  When each observer is asked to describe what he or she saw, their experience or interpretation is quite different from those of the other observers? Have you ever had a disagreement with someone, and then afterward, you twist the details in your mind and make it out to be something so big and disastrous, while the other person feels calm and settled, having put the “simple” disagreement completely behind them? By the way, in this particular scenario, the person who is twisting the situation is typically a woman and the other is typically a man… but I digress!

Looking at our own past is quite the same as the two previous scenarios. We tend to think of events from our past through our own distorted lens. We can make mountains out of molehills, so to speak. Maybe we find that it is easier to place blame on our childhood, or on that one miserably failed relationship. Maybe it is easier to believe that the reason we are not successful, for whatever that term means to each of us, is due to circumstances or the unfair hand we feel we have been dealt.

So maybe it is time we stop creating our own fictional story about what our past means to us. Our past is simply how we choose to view it! The key word in that statement is CHOOSE. Therefore, we can choose to either change the way we think about our past, or choose to accept that our past is simply our past, and move on!

We can waste precious time and energy dwelling on a past that is really only a simple story we have created with our own warped minds, and yes, we are all warped in some small way. So I say, stop looking back… it only serves to leave you with a wicked neck ache!

Be in today, focus on the now, and live!

~ Patti Crowley

 

 

 

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History Starts Now…

What kind of world do you wanthistory starts now
Think Anything
Let’s start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now…

– Five for Fighting

The lyrics above are from a song entitled, World.  I heard it while listening to my Pandora app in the car and it nearly made me pull over.  I remembered something that happened when my now-18 year old daughter was in three year old preschool.  One day when I was picking her up, her teacher pulled me aside and told me that Megan had handed in her artwork and proudly exclaimed, “Here is my masterpiece!”  We laughed at how funny that word sounded coming from a three year old.  But I digress….

The song brought that adorable memory back, and made me smile.  However, there is so much more significance for me to the lyrics from the song.  It made me think of how so few of us live in the moment. Many of us wake up each morning dreading the day ahead, worried about the future, and feeling regret from the past.

What if we looked at this moment as the start of our lives?  We have the ability to live for right now.  So why not make a decision to stop whatever it is we are doing at this moment, and think about what kind of world we want?  We can “think anything”, “start at the start”, and “build a masterpiece”.  We can do anything we want with our lives (within reason I suppose!), live anywhere we choose to live, and be whoever it is we want to be.

So, be careful what you wish for…  Your History Starts Now!

~ Patti Crowley

Wrapped Up in Me

In less than a week, I will be in Arizona looking for a new place to call home. Majestic  mountains, a quiet valley, a lone Cactus in bloom, ample sunshine, and 100+ degree heat… Crazy? I think  not. Am I the  conductor of my own orchestra, or is there something drawing me in, cajoling me forward? Regardless, the time has come.

The details seem endless.  The planning, overwhelming.  So my thoughts are constantly racing with things I have to do, ways to make this move a reality, and questions for which I want answers.  Yet there is the friend, reaching out, in need of my help.  Have I been so wrapped up in me that I am unable to provide a shoulder, offer guidance, or simply be present?  A daughter, preparing for graduation, anxious to enter her college experience, filled with anticipation, rattled nerves, but also big dreams.  Have I been too wrapped up in me that I have briefly relinquished my duty as mom, unable to offer assurance, listen to her reservations, her thoughts, her dreams?

So, I will pause for awhile today. Pause, not stop, and simply be in today.  All of the things I have yet to do, all of the dreams I have for myself, will still be there and do not have to be put on the shelf to collect dust.  I simply need to be present in today.  Allow myself to be open to others, to listen, to guide if necessary.

At this time, next week, I will be in the mountains, breathing in the clean air and taking in the beauty.  But for today, I will be here, not wrapped up in me, but looking outward.

– Patti Crowley

Surrender

Directly in front of me
It taunts me, laughing with that wicked smile
Just out of reach, yet I attempt a desperate grasp
I sigh, exasperated when my hand comes back empty
Empty as I

For a moment, I concede
I take a step back, looking at the paved path behind
The long stretches of smooth bricks, thoughtfully placed
Mixed with fleeting sharp curves
Twists and turns with patterns I have yet to comprehend

Turning back around, facing once again what calls to me, haunts me
Taking a long, measured breath
Tightly closed eyes,
I loosen my clenched fists, toss back my head, and smile
Peace settles within as I surrender to what will Be.

~ Patti Crowley