What Is Your Story?
About 15 years ago, I was just becoming conscious of my own spiritual journey. A personal crisis afforded me an opportunity to re-examine my life, my choices and consequences. As often happens, seemingly chance happenings can have big impacts, and I had just such a happening in a dentist waiting room. I picked up a mainstream psychology magazine, and flipped to a story entitled: Twins, Separated at Birth. Here is the paraphrased story:
Separated At Birth
There was a pair of twins, who, separated at birth, were raised in different families unaware of each other’s existence. By chance (divine intervention), the twins were re-united after 30 years or so. Much to psychologist’s delight, the twins presented a rare opportunity for insight by agreeing to participate in separate interviews.
The First Interview: Twin number one was asked a lot of questions about his habits and behaviours. The twin stated that he was a meticulous house keeper. “Everything needs to be in its place, and there is a place for everything. I have the clothes in my closet colour-coordinated and I am very fussy about the vacuum lines on the carpet being straight.” The interviewers asked him, “Why do you think you are like this?” and the twin stated without hesitation, “This is how my mother taught me to keep house. Our house was immaculate always. This is what I learned.”
The Second Interview: Twin number two was asked the same questions. The second twin stated that he was a meticulous housekeeper. “I have all the cans in my cupboard lined up, with labels facing front, and when I cut the lawn the lines are as straight as arrows. My house and belongings are always in order!” The interviewers asked this twin why he thought he was like this. He answered matter of factly, “My mother was a slob! Our house was always a disaster, I could never find anything. I swore I would never be like my mother”.
This story revealed to me that only I was accountable for my life and all my choices. Typical of people living the ‘unexamined life’, I had been sure that all the negative events of my life were because of a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with me; I was a product of all that had ever happened to me. This twin study disclosed what I have since found to be completely true: it is not the things that happened to me, it is how I have reacted to the things that happened to me.
I have seen the magic of this revelation manifest in the lives of hundreds of people I have known and worked with. When a person who believes that they are a victim of circumstance discovers and appropriates responsibility and accountability for themselves, they are on the road to freedom. When the word ‘victim’ is exchanged for ‘volunteer’, everything can change.
What is the story of ‘blame’ in your life? You may have been told, or in turn told the story so many times you don’t even question it. Are you the way you are because:
• You were an only child (first born, middle child, youngest)
• You were raised by grandparents
• Never had grandparents
• Raised on a farm
• Raised in the city, small town, village, hamlet, overseas, on an Island
• You were poor, wealthy, middle-class
• Had to wear glasses, braces or corrective shoes
• Were picked on
• Were most popular, looked up to
• Blonde, red-headed or brunette, curly or straight?
• Low or high IQ
This list goes on ad infinitum. The real truth behind your life only becomes apparent when the accepted stories are challenged and discarded. I hope this chance encounter I had in the waiting room with the twins impacts you like it did me. What is your story? Are you ready to examine your stories and discard those that no longer serve you?