Whatever your story is, re-write it.

Via Nadine McNeil
on Sep 2, 2011
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Picture this:  your life up until now has been one where you’ve dutifully played it by the rules.

These rules generally speaking, go something like this:

  • Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you
  • [biological] family comes first
  • Go to school and study diligently
  • Work hard and your efforts will be recognized and duly rewarded
  • Save some and spend some
  • Blah, blah, blah

Suddenly, through a series of life experiences, you discover that while these guidelines are worth their weight in gold, they may in fact be holding you back from living into your greatest potential. For example, how would your life be different if instead you had been told to do unto yourself as you do unto others?  Herein lies the delicate balance between selfishness and selflessness. Imbalanced, many of us are left feeling angry, afraid, resentful and weary.

The above scenario has been the dominant conversation that I’ve had with family, friends and strangers, over breakfast, lunch and dinner, Skype, e-mail and Facebook for pretty much all of August. Somehow as Summer in the Northern Hemisphere draws to a close and we begin to prepare for the change that Autumn brings, in mirroring our Mother Nature, many of us, myself included, are faced with the choice of changing colors and eventually shedding leaves that have weighed us down for way too long.

Humbly, a few days ago, I was forced to confront myself and my story.  Here’s what I learned:

The Script that is no longer...from 1949

While aspects of my story may be true as far as my perception goes, it’s not the only story out there. The decision and power to change the script lives within me. Holding onto my story for all its worth robs me of living the full life that I truly desire.

Blaming others for what they’ve done or not only serves to keep me trapped in a vicious, toxic mess irrespective of how justifiable my complaints seem. Unless we’re engaged with psychotics—a possibility that I do not rule out entirely—I’m learning that [most] humans are doing the best they possibly can, based on their own experiences. It is precisely for this reason why breaking the cycle of old behaviors and patterns seems so daunting.

There is a general tendency to delude ourselves into believing that our story is the worst in the world. As one dear friend recently reminded me in a most impassioned tone—every city block and every apartment building is filled with people who have issues that they’re trying to sort through, one way or another.  In that instant the quintessential penny of acceptance, compassion and forgiveness dropped.

I laid down my gauntlet of self-righteousness and victimization.

Since then, I feel much lighter and brighter.

Let’s make this weekend a Labor of Love.


About Nadine McNeil

Yogini. Humanitarian. Spirited. Compassionate. Storyteller. All of these words conjure up aspects that make Nadine McNeil the person she aspires to be: an evolutionary catalyst committed to global transformation. Now fully devoted to expanding the reach of yoga through what she refers to as the “democratization of yoga,” she designs and delivers workshops to a wide cross-section of communities who ordinarily may not be exposed to nor reap its benefits.To join her mailing list and to learn more about her work and receive special offers, please click here.


7 Responses to “Whatever your story is, re-write it.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  2. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
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  3. Hey Nadine, I'm a fellow EJ contributor and I LOVED your piece. I am ALL for breaking out of the societal "norms" in order to find our true selves and our true paths. I am sharing your story with my fan base, as it is very inspiring: https://www.facebook.com/JeanniePageWriter

  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  5. suzette says:

    Nadine, thumbs up on a very nice piece…sums up my August.

  6. Suzette says:

    Nadine I read this again…for the battle wages on. Every heart knows it's own sorrow it is after all a heart and whatever it is that has pierced it there will still be pain. Justifiable blame (usually within a family context) is asking someone to account for their actions and who wants to do that! Blaming MFSB (no not the '70s group) mother, father, sister and brother (oh P psychotics live among us). Relationships with family members are the longest relationships we will ever have and some of the most heinous things happen within those hallowed halls called home and they would be otherwise considered a crime if they were ever reported to authorities. And who wants to do that ? Blaming is Shaming. The laborious task of self love is trying not to blame or shame yourself too much. Yep, everybody has their own cross to bare.

  7. Nadine says:

    Suzette, thank you for sharing your very insightful comments. What struck me especially is what you said about the heinous things/crimes that we carry out against each other, supposedly in the name of 'love.' Yeah, sometimes this supposed love is like a noose around their necks. As we journey along this path of spirituality, I try to remind myself that these people and whatever their actions may be are my teachers and lessons respectively. Some days are easier than others to try on this philosophical approach. Blessed Love, Nadine!