Imagine a perfect circle, that circle represents the events in your life. This circle contains the facts about what happened.
Then, there is a second circle. It is right next to the other circle. It greatly varies from the first, as the 2nd circle represents our feelings about the first circle . Almost always, we mash the two circles into one big circle. We create a story. We do not separate the events of our lives from the feelings about those events. The second circle represents how we feel about the events that happened. This 2nd circle is created by you.
Our brains are wired to make meaning & connections from the events in our lives. We create stories from the events that happened & we mash the events of our lives with our feelings about those events, creating one big gigantic world wind of meaning. We create a story in our heads. We create meaning & feelings about what these events must mean.
If we could just look at events as events & not wrap meaning & interpretations & feelings & emotions & purpose & assumptions & predictions around the facts, we would be more clear & less stressed & less upset & less conflicted. We’d be happier & more free beings.
Personal Example (1st circle- facts):
1. I repeated first grade.
2. I was labeled ADHD.
3. I was labeled with dyslexia.
4. I overheard a teacher saying I was in the lowest reading group.
(2nd circle- feelings about the facts):
1. I assumed that by repeating 1st grade, that meant I was behind.
2. I concluded that being labeled as ADHD, meant that I was not smart.
3. I decided that being diagnosed with ADHD meant that I was not good enough.
I made all of this up in my head & labeled it as my truth. You see, my brain mashed the facts & my feelings about the facts into one big story, one big vicious cycle. I created meaning out of the facts & believed, whole-heartedly, that I was behind, not smart, & not good enough. It seems silly, doesn’t it, but we are meaning making machines.
No one used these words with me- these feelings were created in my head & carried around for years. I’ve been carrying around this not good enough bullshit interpretation for 30 years.
This is what we do, we create meaning & feelings & emotions & assumptions from facts & events in our lives. & we assume they are synonymous. I was creating my own havoc, my own negative beliefs about myself. I took the labels that were assigned to me & transformed them to mean:
1. I was behind.
2. I was not smart.
3. I was not good enough.
We create feelings around events. We create them. & we make meaning from circle number one & it becomes circle number two. & we choose to interpret & predict & assume & attach shame & guilt to our facts.
Let’s take a peak at the facts & allow them to be facts:
1. I repeated 1st grade because I repeated 1st grade.
2. I was diagnosed with ADHD because I was diagnosed with ADHD.
3. I was labeled dyslexic because I was labeled dyslexic.
None of the above facts include the words I made them to mean: behind, not smart enough, & not good enough. How silly to carry these words around & label them as my truth. It’s like willingly signing up for a prison sentence. Makes no sense. Silly brain, silly brain, stick to the facts. Stick to the events & let the rest fall to the wayside. Stop making meaning. Not everything has meaning.
I created those words & I attached meaning & I made it mean something it did not mean & I spent 30 years, until last weekend, making meaning out of facts. Now, I catch myself adding meaning & I shut that shit down.
This was all learned at Landmark. Landmark changed my life & set me free of this torturous prison & box I’d popped myself in. I thought I was only the labels. I was living in a box labeled: behind, not smart, & not good enough. Silly, Mel, silly Mel.
& when I discovered that I am the reason for these feelings & that I attached meaning to the facts, that I had attached my own misinterpretation, I released myself & forgave myself because I was doing my best. & when we know better, we do better.
I visited my first circle, reviewed the facts & allowed those facts to remain there as facts. I will leave it at that & I invite you to do the same. Don’t attach meaning & purpose & shame & guilt & emotion. Let facts be facts.
You, my dear friend, need to do Landmark- transformed my entire life. I want you to have a transformation, too. It was profound & educational & emotionally draining & freeing & amazing all wrapped up in one beautiful weekend.
1. What is your story?
2. What are your feelings about that story?
3. Have you mashed the two together to mean something that is not true, that is keeping you locked in your own mental hell prison?
I invite you to write what happened (the absolute concise facts) & STOP at that. Then, repeat the facts aloud. The second circle are all your feelings about what happened: all the interpretations you created, shame filled words about the events, the guilt you feel, the put downs you’ve made up, & anything else that is not a fact. Choose to focus on the concrete facts as concrete facts.
You are not what happened to you, nor are you your feelings about what happened to you.
You were born perfect, whole, & enough. We make up things & create misinterpretations & we make meaning out of absolutely nothing. We do it to ourselves. We can also undo it & get out of the cycle.
Believe that you are whole, perfect, & enough because you absolutely are.
Stop putting yourself down & telling yourself lies about who you think you are or what your story must have meant.
Our lives are empty & meaningless until we attach meaning to the events in our lives that are simply Happenings in our lives.
Let the event be an event. Don’t attach meaning to the event. Because you will be robbing yourself of being your best & most free self. Set yourself free- you deserve freedom. You deserve complete happiness. You deserve to let your best self shine out into the world. You are a gift, a gem, a rare & unique jewel. You are full of talents & gifts & you were born on purpose to serve in multiple ways. You’re perfect as you are, don’t you see that?!?!
Let the story be the story. Don’t interpret the story to mean something. Because you will make yourself miserable.
I set myself free to accept me for me:
1. I’m not behind, I am where I need to be.
2. I’m smart & by golly, I am enough as I am right now.
Believe in your worth, your goodness, your greatness, & your beauty, right now. There is no arrival or destination.
Don’t wait 30 years to truly feel worthy. I’ve never felt more alive than I do, today! I’m finally free because I got myself out of the way!