I have always been a person that feels things very deeply. Call me what you want – an empath, super-sensitive, or worse. The truth is it doesn’t change the fact that I feel things so deeply that it affects my experience. So, separating the truth from the stories (Step 1 of the FORGIVITY program) took a bit of training for me. How do I separate my visceral response from the event that took place? It’s impossible! And don’t tell me it’s a story. My body doesn’t lie!
It isn’t impossible to do. But it isn’t easy. And no, my body isn’t lying but her deep feels sure do make it harder to get to the straight-up facts!
This is how I learned to boil down the event to the truth: I ask myself: What were the things that happened that I am holding on to in my unforgiveness that need to be extricated from my stories? You see, I’m also very good at taking things personally. (One of the 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz that I work hardest at. Every. Damn. Day.). It’s not all about me. It’s never about me. Oof, that one is hard….
So, how do I separate the facts from the stories? With the precision of a brain surgeon, trying to save the best and preserve the most crucial part of the matter in integrity. I ask myself over and over – What is the truth? And when an answer comes up that feels like it has a charge attached, I ask again – what is the truth? And what part of this memory is my feelings around the event that are pushing their way through? As I go deeper and deeper in this personal inquisition – which part is my story, and which part is a fact? And damn those stories are good at worming their way in. And if the pain is deep my body chimes in with a pang in my gut or my hurt flips in fear. That shizz is real, yo.
As it turns out I am REALLY good at attaching my story to the fact (or the truth) and maybe you are too. Fortunately, these stories help me to process my pain. Unfortunately, this talent doesn’t serve me in getting to the bottom of things and moving forward.
But luckily am also really good at forgiving myself. (Self-forgiveness, that’s in another blog, so stay tuned). And here is where that skill comes in handy.
Most humans add stories to their experiences – it’s how we understand our humanness and heal all of the things that happen throughout our lives. So, you’re not alone. When we are ready to continue healing and move forward we begin to peel apart the stories from the facts. But they’re so good! I know… Like everything they have a shelf life and we need to know when to pack them up and say goodbye before they start to stink. If you like to repurpose, like me, you can always use them as self-deprecating comedic content at cocktail parties. Stories are good material!
So the next time you find yourself ruminating over a transgression against you, ask your (higher) self – What is the truth here? And if your pulse is still pounding, ask again – what is the truth? Again. And continue the process until you come to the answer, free from passion and judgment that states a simple fact. And you will have found the facts.