Mary O’Malley – Have you ever noticed there is a voice in your head that talks all day long? It likes this, but not that. It plans, resists, wants, judges, fears and basically just struggles with Life. Every person has a storyteller, and most people think they are the stories in their heads. Whatever it says is what we buy into “hook, line, and sinker.” These endless stories keep us caught in our heads, separating us from Life.
I love Pema Chödrön’s definition of enlightenment: “Relaxing into life.” Your storyteller doesn’t do anything close to relaxing. It is always busy controlling, fixing, changing, and rearranging everything. The first step of awakening is realizing you have a storyteller in your mind. The next step is understanding that the stories are not who you are. You are that which can see the stories. Right now, you believe whatever your thoughts say to be true. If a thought says you are angry, you believe you are angry. If a thought says you are sad, you believe you are sad. As you learn to become aware of your storyteller rather than identifying with it, the clouds of thought in your mind begin to clear and you rediscover the joy of being present for Life.
I was raised in great fear and it became a constant state of dread. I tried to eat it away, drink it away, numb it away with drugs, and even tried “doing time” in a mental hospital, but nothing worked. In desperation, I attempted to take my own life three times to try to get away from this horrible feeling of dread. The stories fueling the fear and dread convinced me that I was completely defective and that I was less than everyone else on the planet. Now the stories in my mind live most of the time in the spaciousness of my heart. Continue reading