There's many different types of stories and some are interesting, wonderfully creative and great fun to tell or read but they're not the stories I want to talk about here.
I'm talking about the stories about ourselves and others we make up in our thinking.
The insurance expired on our home recently and as I'm in the process of changing suppliers, I was undecided who to choose and for a week or so, our house was uninsured. It got really windy one night, with heavy downpours and as I lay in bed listening to the rain pounding on the roof, I really had to control my thoughts. Knowing the house was uninsured, my brain went into overdrive making up stories! Suddenly, I'd imagined the roof caving in or blowing off, the animals being frightened and maybe running out into the street, our rooms and furniture water logged and the expense - oh the expense!
It's a human thing to make up stories - that's what our brains do, but in order to live a happier, more enjoyable and peaceful life, it's wise to learn how to use your mind effectively rather than letting it run off on it's various tangents.
Thankfully we have the power of our thoughts to turn something into a big drama or an experience we can calmly deal with - it's a choice how we come to view each situation we encounter.
We often make up stories about others as well, assuming we know how they're feeling or what they're thinking. We cook up stories as to why someone hasn't called, contacted us or responded to our clever social media post that we were certain they'd love.
Since I've been studying, practicing and teaching Mindfulness, I've found I'm more easily able to be present in each moment, which allows me to make kinder choices in how I support and nurture myself through each day. In the past, during situations I found difficult, my default reaction was to push myself to do better. My self talk would be judgemental and sometimes punishing. I'd be unkind to myself, telling myself I should be able to handle 'it' (whatever that it may be) better and shouldn't feel weakened or upset, or get sick. I'd even tell myself that at my age, I should know better! Oh dear, if only I could have shown the same kindness, understanding and compassion towards myself that I diligently practiced bestowing on others.
These days, I remain aware of gently focussing on my breath, which in turn brings me into each moment, right in the here and now. I find I can see more clearly and feel my feelings without allowing them to take me somewhere I don't want to go. I can take slow, deep breaths and know I'll be ok. I catch myself making up stories and change the story to one I want or stop, breathe and be thankful for all I have right now, in this moment.
It takes practice for sure, but it's worth the attention and effort as Every Day Gets Better.
I'd love to hear what stories you're willing to let go of today. ❤️