Truth, Lies and What Is

February 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Pearls of wisdom | Leave a comment

Truth, Lies, and What Is

By Ray Dodd

It was a beautiful sun-drenched Colorado day with a new layer of pristine snow glistening along the mountain side. One of those picture perfect calendar days. I was drinking in the beauty of it all with every one of my senses. The next thing I remember was up- ended, my feet above my head, and then my body slammed into the snow with an astonishing velocity and force.

We had just finished skiing most of the run, were close to the ski lift, and we stopped for a moment to catch our breath. We were careful to follow “the skiers responsibility code” – a few tips to make skiing safer for everyone, and were off to the side of the ski run in plain view. I don’t remember much about what happened next, but witnesses said I was hit by an out-of-control man on a snowboard careening down the mountain at full speed. After he hit me, he got up and just kept going as if it never crossed his mind to stop and see if I was alright.

Everything after that began to move in slow motion. Trying to get up and gasping for air. The arrival of the ski patrol, being strapped onto a toboggan to ferry me down the hill. Being transferred to a snowmobile to take me to the ambulance, and arriving at the emergency room. Each passing moment became more and more surreal. I was finally
told that I had four broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and that I would need to stay in the hospital for at least five days.

The event and its aftermath was pulling me into situations I’d never experienced before, but what was surprising was how little I thought about it. Except for the pain and discomfort, everything was okay. It seemed to me that everyone around me was much more in distress than I was.

In our Belief Work we teach that the most powerful thing we do that impacts every experience is deciding what it means. We naturally create stories that explain and interpret what’s going on around us. Those stories have a genuine impact on our perception and behavior, and ALWAYS elicit an emotional response.

I became aware that I didn’t have a need to create stories about what happened. I almost felt like I should. Was there something wrong with me? What stories should I create about the accident? I had plenty of time lying in a hospital bed, so I made a list of stories I could fabricate.

* For someone to take off after injuring me just shows you how the world has become a mean-spirited and selfish place.

* The medical bills are going to be astronomical, and I certainly didn’t need this kind of expense in my life right now.

* I had all sorts of plans for the next month, and now I can’t do anything but stay home and recover. I can’t even drive!

* Why did this happen? According to “The Secret” I must have attracted this to me.

* I can’t work and the loss of income is going to be devastating.

* I bought new skis and a ski pass at the beginning of the season. Now the ski season is ruined.

After I made the list, I embraced each one of these stories just to test them. Here is what I noticed. Each one of the stories didn’t change anything. The stories made me feel bad, and didn’t provide any solutions to the problems I was facing. I also noticed that each
point of view was merely an opinion, filled with things that weren’t entirely true.

Next, I tried focusing on viewpoints that made me feel better: the ski patrol did a wonderful job – they were professional and impeccable in their performance. The people at the hospital — the trauma doctors and the nurses did an extraordinary job. I felt
blessed to be in their care. And of course the letters, the cards, the phone calls, and the prayers were all wonderful expressions of best we can be, the Angel in each one of us. But in some way these weren’t stories, it was just what was. Focusing on what I felt grateful for made me feel pleasantly warm inside.

The whole experience has made one thing very clear to me. It is rare indeed to NEED any story to explain, interpret, or examine what happens to you. Most of the stories we create help us explain why, define who’s right and who’s wrong, and serve to defend some point of view. And those stories are invariably full of distortion, untruths and self-inflicted pain.

Everybody has stories they tell that give meaning to what’s happening to them and around them. I have the privilege as a Belief Work Mentor to listen to these stories all day long. I can tell you that if you think you need your stories, put them to the litmus test. When you tell yourself a story about “how it is” check inside and notice how you feel.

This is surprisingly simple. If the point of view of the story churns you up emotionally, it’s a story that’s hurting you and not helping you. Pay close attention. Does your story CHANGE anything?

The wonderful writer Byron Katie talks about “loving what is.” After this experience, I can see exactly what she means. Look at the bestseller booklist today if you have time. It’s filled with self-help advice to make you richer, happier, healthier, more efficient,
and effective. Not bad advice, but to expect life to be on the constant line of improvement, to have the opinion or story that everything should be a certain way is a superhighway to self-misery.

Life happens. Things do go wrong. Not every day is a sunny day. And so your true power lies in one thing and one thing only. You get to decide what to believe about it.

In our Belief Work we teach people about repairing limiting beliefs, agreements, and their complementary stories. We suggest this because our beliefs are filters that impact our behavior and our perception affecting EVERYTHING we do. We use this word repair because in fact you don’t need new stories, or new beliefs. What’s required is to
stop supporting the ones that are holding you back or causing you discomfort. Once you repair your unreasonable and debilitating fears you will NATURALLY live the best life you can.

To reach for your deepest goals and dreams you must take action, but once you accept “what is” in this moment without superimposing your stories so that you can give meaning to what’s happening, something truly amazing occurs.

No matter what, in this very moment, everything is okay just as it is.

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