Does this story serve me in this moment?
This is a two-part question and is the next step in creating the conditions for our self-direction. Each part is really simple and easy to answer. At the same incredibly powerful in peeling back the layers of baggage we've accumulated in our lives. The type of baggage that while it may have been created based on someone else's behavior, is what we've been shouldering ever since, struggling and suffering as a result.
Does this story serve me...
How do we evaluate whether our story serves us? It seems that it should be obvious, but how do I know? It’s important to be aware of how well-embedded in our psyche these stories are. We’ve been listening to and internalizing these stories that we’ve authored through past experiences for a very long time. And for most of us, a tremendous amount of these stories have been sublimated into the depths of our subconscious. "That's just the way I am!"
When we begin to ask this question, we may get an immediate, “Of course this serves me!” This knee-jerk reaction is typically our first hint that we have work to do. It's also an indicator that there is an aspect of us that is actively monitoring and telling stories in real time.
The primary way we know whether a story is serving us or not, is in our gut. We need to pay attention to this! If it doesn't feel right from a centered and grounded place, it probably isn't serving us.
...in this moment?
In this moment... In this moment. IN... THIS... MOMENT! Not yesterday, a month ago, not when we were bullied in school or treated poorly by our parents. In... THIS... moment!
Why do we include “in this moment” as part of the question? When we recognize that a story that most likely did serve us in the past, and had value, but isn't serving us now is hugely important. When we recognize that a story isn't serving in this moment, we create space to take a deeper look at what we can reframe into something that really does serve us.
The second half of the question is so important to our growth. It is integral because it allows us the ability to let go of the emotion we're feeling along with the angst of our past experiences. In addition, it also helps us to let go of the fear of what the future may hold for us. Right here and now, is this story serving me?
Stories that don't serve us here and now aren't necessarily "bad"
If a story isn't serving me in this moment, that doesn't mean it is a bad story or one that didn't serve us in the past. Typically stories that don't serve us now, did in the past, whether it was yesterday or when we were kids. Understanding that stories that don't serve us now but did in the past are really important in giving us the grace to learn, change, and grow.
Moving us beyond feelings
One of the most important aspects of this question is that we are able to bypass the feelings we have experienced, often the ones keeping us from making changes, the ones we so desperately want in our lives. Because the question is binary in nature, a yes or no answer, we are able to move past those feelings that have hogtied us for so long.
This is a critical issue in that so many of our struggles in life revolve around being stuck in our feelings. When we are able to recognize something that isn't serving us in this moment, we are also able to move past our feelings and begin to take real action. We don't devalue that we feel the way we do, we simply recognize our feelings, with stories that don't serve us are merely indicators that we have some cleanup to do.
Depowering our fear
When we focus only on this moment, we begin to move the protective part of our personality into balance and depower its fear. In doing this, we transition to a place where we are more centered and grounded. A place of openness where we are able to see a fuller and richer picture of what is going on within and around us. We begin to realize how many of these fears, embedded in our stories, simply evaporate.
Increasing the space
Many, if not most, of our old embedded stories, don't apply “in this moment.” Thus, “the space” grows, giving us the ability to grow and find more freedom in our lives.
A change in perspective
When we put the stories that don't serve us into perspective by asking if they are serving us or not, our perspective shifts tremendously. When we recognize we're not being served by our story right here and now, we automatically give ourselves the permission to begin to change them.
Be easy about this
It's important to question our stories as gently and with as little judgment as possible by being light and curious. As time goes on, we get better at allowing an authentic answer because we learn how to ask and receive from an authentic place.