I am listening to The Answers Are Within You by Debbie Ford, about working with stories, shadows and projections. It is certainly in the same general category as The Work, the Big Mind process and the 3-2-1 shadow process, yet - as each of the other ones - with a distinct flavor and a slightly different take on it, coming at it from a different angle.
The gift of the story itself
One of the things she talks about is finding the gift in our stories, and especially our core ones.
Say it is that I am a failure. What are three genuine gifts in holding onto that story?
- I try to compensate for it by doing things that prove I am not a failure (although they won't as long as there is an exclusive attachment to the story that I am a failure). I get ahead in the world in different ways.
- I experience empathy with others I see as a failure. I see that we are in the same boat.
- I recognize the suffering I create for myself through that story, and recognize that all us of create suffering for ourselves by holding onto beliefs and stories.
There is also another category of gifts here: the gift in the grain of truth in the story, the gift in what the story points to.
So I am a failure. What are three or more of the genuine gifts of being a failure?
- I get to be in the same boat as anyone else who are a failure, in their own view or according to society. I get to find humility. To learn to receive help from others. To be one of many. To find our shared humanity.
- I get to not have much or anything to live up to. To find the freedom in not having anything to live up to anymore. To live, free from having anything to live up to.
- I get to learn how to deal with disappointment, with shoulds, beliefs, stories, and what happens when reality does not match. I get to see the mismatch between my beliefs and the world, the consequences of this mismatch, how to explore this belief, and what happens when this belief is seen through and loses its charge.