“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” ~Pema Chodron
I came across this quote by Pema Chodron, and was struck by its truth and beauty. I certainly have an active mind, and one that is constantly creating stories – often very elaborate stories and adventure. Some of these thoughts and stories involve the usual things related to being a busy Mom. Like what our game plan for the day is, writing down this game plan before I forget over the animated sounds of busy children begging to be reminded of what our game plan is.
Then there is the thoughts of the many people in my life, what may be going on for them, and mental reminders to myself to connect. Other things pop up in my mind around my writing, personal life, regular tasks that need attention etc. You know all the normal stuff that happens after waking and usually before 8:00 am. The other stories are created in reaction to things I see and hear, or from my interactions with others over the course of the day.
When time allows, there is the other filler where my mind wanders off to my hopes and dreams and exciting what if’s…and then to the other side, you know the fears, hope not’s and ‘what exactly did they mean by that’ kind of stories. The latter part is where the suffering is usually brought to life. I have come to realize that the latter part is also a place that can act like a magnet. If care is not taken, it can become an all-encompassing place that takes precedence over the regular, happy feel good thoughts and stories.
What I say to myself and the stories I create can eventually either boost me up or chip away at my confidence and self-worth. What I believe to be true about myself and others can be influenced by a few really detailed, emotionally driven stories. That being said, I don’t think that doom and gloom is ready to strike at any moment if I’m not on top of my story-telling skills. I am learning that if I’m spending too much time spinning stories that don’t feel good or that put myself or others in an unflattering light, it’s a sign to stop and ask myself whether what I’m saying has any truth and to look for other versions that may be a bit more flattering I could recreate. Kind of like the Choose your Own Adventure books I used to read as a child.
What I say to myself about myself, about others and about what happens around me is entirely up to me at any given moment. When put in this light the adventure I choose is the happy one. Like the adventure in the above photo of my boys and I with pure bliss shining through. With the youngest one howling at the moon, well the sun at the time but he was happy all the same. The one where we are just being, living and doing what we were meant to be, live and do ~ to enjoy, to see things with a hopeful, positive twist and to remember that the adventure is ours to create however we choose; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.
xo ❤ Emily
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