It’s a mystery why we all grow up with the myth that things happen to us.
It creates so much personal hardship.
We learn to think “Because of this …., Therefore I’m ….” is how our life works.
And that because something created an influence, we are simply the helpless victim of it.
No choice. That’s just the way it works….
Not unless we say so.
The Missing Piece
You and I, as human beings, are story making machines.
And when we recognize that, we get the power to decide what story we make up, based on how it serves our needs.
We’re not talking about ignoring the Facts of a situation.
But what happens next is about how we interpret them.
The Machine That Never Sleeps
Our sub-conscious mind is the machine part of us that never sleeps.
And that’s a good thing, since it runs all our internal systems every moment of the day.
A Vacation for the sub-conscious, becomes a permanent vacation for us.
But as an organic machine, it runs programs, millions of them, constantly.
It tells our cells what to do, directs what gets healed and what doesn’t, tells us what is dangerous and what is fun….
And all of it is constantly influenced by what it has been taught as being true.
The Sponge Phase
From day one in our life, to about five years old or so, the sub-conscious mind is in massive data collection mode.
Like a sponge, it just soaks up input on everything it experiences though all of it’s senses.
It doesn’t have any idea what is good or bad, helpful or harmful, it just collects everything it can so when the conscious part of the brain begins to kick in, it has data to work with.
The Conscious Mind Comes On Line
If you’re a parent, you probably noticed that somewhere around five years old your children showed signs of being more self-aware.
How they looked started to become important. What other people thought about them began to matter much more.
In my own life, I had a nephew and niece who lived in a rural area. For the first four plus years their most comfortable state was naked, if it were at all warm enough. Out in their secluded yard, in the house, playing, dancing, whatever they were doing, that was most comfortable for them.
One day, when my nephew was about five, he and I went to a hidden stream that had places where the water created still pools in the rocks.
It was a popular place to swim and have fun with the neighbors.
Because he and his sister had learned that the general public was not as enlightened about the freedom of being in their natural state, he brought his bathing suit for the swim.
Normally he would just walk over to a flat area, drop his pants, put on his suit and head for the watering hole.
But this time he turned to me and said “Uncle Paul, will you hold up a towel so I can change?”
I smiled, and felt very honored that he trusted me to help him adjust to this new experience of himself.
Control The Tool, Control The Results
Once the conscious mind comes online, for the first time we get to choose how we interpret what we experience.
We wrestle with how the data that showed up in our reference library should be pieced together and what it means to us.
But only rarely, did anyone coach us that in every situation, there are: The Facts of what has happened, and The Story we make up about it.
We Get To Write The Story
Here’s an easy example.
You’re on the freeway minding your own business when a speeding car suddenly cuts across in front of you, and heads off down the road.
Immediately your sub-conscious mind goes into danger alert mode!
Fear leaps into your system, likely followed by anger for “that … guy”.
Your likely first thought?…You want to show them how wrong they are for endangering you.
And you want to teach them that lesson right now.
You Have A Choice To Make
What experience of life do you want right now?
The Facts: A vehicle cut in front of you. You were not harmed. They are gone.
The Story You Choose To Make Up About It:
Story A.) One that accelerates the anger response your Sub-conscious just automatically dished out.
Likely results: More anger eats you up, stressing your system, stealing your happiness. You create additional danger for yourself and everyone else on the road by chasing him and attempting to confront him. Since the other driver is likely in a hyper state, based upon his driving, the odds of anything but a much worse situation occurring are very high.
Story B.) You take a deep breath to release the adrenaline rush, hope the person isn’t rushing to the aid of a loved one, and shift your thoughts to the cool things you’re going to do later today when you arrive at your destination.
Likely Results: Life Continues To Be Enjoyable (because you said so).
Learn To Live Intentionally
When you live intentionally, you decide what story to make up about the Facts.
Because you decide if your life will be happy or stressed. Only you.
You understand that life doesn’t happen to you. It happens through you.
You get to choose the interpretation that best improves your experience of life at every moment.
We were given a Conscious mind to allow us to oversee the reactionary, “I don’t know right from wrong,” Sub-conscious mind because it doesn’t know any better.
With every situation that you practice separating the Facts and then Choose The Story that improves your life, the faster you re-connect to the experience of life you have chosen to live.
Because this is your life, nobody else’s.
And your greatest gift, is your ability to consciously decide how your life will go everyday.
Uncover and use the gifts you were given to help you.
Used well, you’ll truly build a life you love being a part of, no matter what your instant reaction throws at you.
Take charge of your machine,
and Never stop moving forward.
Paul A. Good MM, MEd
The Power Of Intentional Living
* Paul A. Good