Have you experienced someone telling their story more than once…a story of injustice or heroism? Have you seen these posted on Facebook or other social media? An individual, who does not know how to unravel the twists and turns of their past, may need to play it out publicly and repeatedly. The stories are told by the same person, and although similar, are related to different employments, organizations and people. There is a pattern. We recognize that the storyteller needs be heard and approved, while at the same time has a need to blame others. The storyteller can even play various roles all in one story (unknowingly, of course). This is called the Drama Triangle: The Victim, (I was hurt.) The Persecutor, (You’re to blame) and The Rescuer, (I’m the hero.). The words we use tell others a lot about us. (reference: TA and the Drama Triangle by Stephen Karpman, a model of human interaction) The past has a power and purpose, and that is lost when we play out these roles. Telling stories to others (when others don’t hear the other side of the story) is at best unfair play, and at worst is damaging; it serves no worthy purpose. The power of the past lies in our willingness to combine the story with our power of wisdom for our Good!
The Good News is that our past has a power and purpose for us to grow and evolve. It takes intention to find the GIFT in each story.
Gift - The Lesson
Insight - Information
For - You
Transformation - New
When we are willing to look at ourselves deeply, seeing the commonalities in our own reactions to situations over time, we are open to learning the lessons that are meant for us. It has nothing to do with anyone else. We really are here to live, love, learn, give, grow and evolve. We all have stories of the past. When we unravel the story, the New is able to surface! That’s powerful! :)
Review the Past so as not to Repeat the Past:
Some stories may still be very raveled, tangled and effecting the present. The past is relevant to the present! Stories are as wide as they are deep, and our past holds vital information for transformation. As a coach it is my responsibility to provide a safe, nonjudgmental, open space for a client to explore and transcend the story, so that the old response doesn’t occur again. In my experience, one coaching session per story can “do the trick”! Is today looking like yesterday; maybe like Ground Hog Day? :( To not repeat the past, we need to take off the rose colored glasses and look at the past intentionally, objectively and honestly, holding ourselves accountable for our words. (ref. The Game of Life chapter 3 “The Power of the Word” by Florence Scovel Shinn). Only then can we stop pointing fingers and telling stories about our interactions with others. We then have the opportunity with clear eyes to create a new story. Once the lesson is learned, we no longer tell story!
Let’s make the story a less permanent fixture :) by doing just three things:
Honor the Story – List the facts and the feelings. It came for us to make a change in our perception and reaction.
Integrate the Story – Ask these questions and write the answers. Stay open to the lesson.
In reviewing the facts and feelings of a story there is always a GIFT, if you wish to receive it. Ask yourself, “What is My lesson from My past incident? How have I reacted the same in other incidents? Where might I not be walking my talk? How did I play all three roles in my story, Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer? How could I see the incident differently? What could I do differently in the future? Does my story make me feel more powerful and right? What responsibility am I willing to take?”
Transcend the Story – Unravel the twists and turns. Move beyond the story. Now there’s never a need to hurt, blame or even be the hero. The past story is not told when the lesson is learned! Transcendence! Think who you could become without the story!
As we take on the power and the purpose of the past, we open the way to experience transformation, and then start with a clean slate, staying calm, honest and no longer critical of anyone.