Who stole the mind’s eye video-recording, auto-looping, playback, stop button? I mean it happened. I know it happened. I was there, but seriously! How many times to I have to relive it? Does it ever end? If it does end, when?
Facing the recurring and seemingly co-occurring images of trauma. The ones vividly streaming on in the mind’s auto-repeating loop, endlessly blaring from somewhere inside our heads. Its constant voice calling us back. Calling us back to relive and re-face the re-repeating images, the emotions and the story of our past.
Initially sharing the events of trauma may have helped us to mentally grasp, clarify or even cognitively process our experiences. Yet, like a favorite pair of jeans, there comes a time when the story becomes old, outdated, worn-out and ultra-faded. So, now what? It doesn’t change the voicing images in my head. It doesn’t change what happened or how it happened. It doesn’t . . . an entire list of things.
Thoughts talk. Often, way too much. On the upper side, we get to choose. We get to choose to listen or not. We get to choose to change the story or not. We get to choose to tell the story or not. All the stop, pause, and re-record buttons are fully, and only, under our control.
It’s beginning to happen. Mind’s work alcoholic, auto-repeat, playback button has already clocked in at triple overtime. Now what? Stop. Breath. Then ask yourself:
Is this happening now? Answer . . . no, in most cases probably not.
Is this story helping? Answer . . . no.
Now a definite direction and story changer. What is something I gained through this experience?
Hmm . . . I went back to work. I found an even better job. I helped this person.
I stood up for myself. I never knew I could do this. I learned this.
I had the courage and still have the courage to face this. I did it. I am more . . .
Acknowledge and take charge of the stories of our experiences. By changing the story or no longer needing to tell it, we free ourselves from the emotional trauma associated with it. Stop feeling victimized or small in the presence of what has happened or what we think might have happened. Pause and remind ourselves; I am bigger. I am stronger. I am more than the experiences of my life. No matter how traumatic the event was, we are always more than what happened. We are also more than what we think someone else may have wanted us to believe.
For each of us, we are solely in charge and responsible for the story, or the meaning, we attach to the events of our lives. What we choose to do with this or not do with this is also completely up to us.
Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Changing Lives