I keep seeing stories on wellness and yogi websites about the importance of dropping stories. I’ve said it myself in class. And while it’s what we all want, it’s really hard to actually do. Stories are insidious. We bury them deep within ourselves as beliefs of who we think we are, interwoven with how we live our lives, even in some ways how others may perceive us.
I was lying on my yoga mat in the middle of my living room about a month ago, looking at the pictures on my wall, then at my orange couch that I once loved and waited 6 weeks for delivery on when I realized my place didn’t fit the person I was anymore. It didn’t fit how I moved or lived. I barely watch TV and I had more room for my couch and TV than I did for my mat. So I got rid of the couch, moved the TV to the bedroom and took everything off the walls. My living room is spacious in that it’s still almost empty because I don’t know how I want to fill it yet. But my puppy has room to play and I have room to practice and if it weren’t for the echo or the fact that I don’t have space to seat guests, I would leave it as is.
Along the way to clearing furniture, I started clearing out other things. Picture frames I never really liked but had gotten in a mad rush to have frames, any frames, to display pictures to remind myself I had friends when I had first moved to Portland and was feeling lonely. I cleared out clothes I hadn’t worn since I’d moved back to LA three years ago. I cleared out food I bought when I first moved back three years ago. Then I stumbled on my journals dating back to college, which I’d saved as sacrosanct, reminders of who I was a different points in time. My history. My life. My stories. As I flipped through, I saw the story I was writing, repeatedly through the years. Different job, different man I was dating, different city..but the story was the same, the words were even the same. In my mind.
The truth is, I was so stuck in my story of myself as a victim, as not enough, as doomed, that I couldn’t see what was really going on in front of me. I wanted to give my 18 year-old self a hug for thinking things “would once again go this way as they always do.” I wanted to give my 21-year-old self a hug for thinking the same. And my 31-year-old self.
I then cut up the pages and tossed them into recycling. Time for a new story.
Step 1 to letting go of a story we’ve created is actually seeing the story.