I was listening to my favorite teacher Abraham the other day, and witnessed a woman desperately trying to tell a story, only to be cut off again and again by the non-physical entity flowing through Esther Hicks. They would not let her even get started, no matter how determined she was. Her frustration at wanting to express herself and not being allowed to was palpable and yet Abraham would not budge. Why not?
When I’m coaching (I essentially do exactly what Esther does, I just have my own style, don’t go into a trance, and will get a lot more specific with people), I often start the session with a new client by explaining to them that I WILL interrupt them at some point, not because I’m rude or don’t want to hear them out, but because I don’t need to know nearly as much information as people think I do (I’m not looking for logical patterns, I’m looking for energy patterns), and once I’ve gotten a hook into the energy, continuing to bang on about what’s wrong doesn’t serve people at all. So, I’m interrupting them for their own damn good, really.
And yet, this woman who was so frustrated with Abe, wasn’t trying to talk about her current issues. She was actually trying to explain that she used to have an issue, but thanks so the teachings of Abraham and others had overcome her former problems. What’s wrong with that kind of story? Why wouldn’t Abe allow that? Wouldn’t that have made everyone feel good, validated our beliefs, given us another success story? Well, yes and no. I think Abe’s tough love approach in this instance was spot on. Here’s why:
What are you activating?
We all love stories of triumph. Hollywood is full of them. Someone has a huge desire, but also a huge problem – some reason why he can’t have what he wants. Then, against all odds, he finds a way to overcome the problem and gets what he wants in the end. He struggled and worked hard and suffered and sacrificed, but in the end it was all worth it. Oooh, doesn’t that feel good? Well, sure, if you’re currently struggling with something. Then, the idea that you can get what you want, that it is possible somehow, feels better than the idea that you can’t. If, however, you’ve already overcome your resistance and are basking in the glory of what you want, then this story of struggle and triumph sounds a little different, especially if you’re paying attention to how you feel.
When you listen to someone tell a story of something they’ve overcome, you’ll hear something similar to the following:
“So there I was with this HUGE problem. Oh my God, I was in so much pain. I felt hopeless. Life was crap.” – They have just activated the energy of the problem. This will resonate with people who are currently also vibrating at that level, i.e. those who are also in pain. But, for the person telling the story, or anyone else who is at a higher vibration (like the people at an Abraham seminar), this will only serve to activate a LOWER frequency. In other words, your story of suffering may feel fine to those in pain, but those who are currently feeling great will be dragged down.
“I struggled and worked really hard. There was so much pain, but something told me to hang on. I had hope amidst all that turmoil. I persevered. I just believed I could do it.” – Ok, so first of all, what’s really heavily being represented here is the belief that growth comes through suffering and will be “worth it” in the end. Suffering is not necessary for growth, it’s just a byproduct of our insistence to hold on to old beliefs that don’t serve us. The more stubbornly we hold on to them, the greater the pain (take it from me. I can be a very stubborn puppy). The acceptance of the struggle and sacrifice as necessary causes us to put up with a great deal more pain than we’d otherwise have to.
Second, what’s being activated is the struggle. For those who are currently in pain, and who have the belief that suffering is a necessary component of growth, this story will sound good. But if you’re not currently hurting, then all this does is activate a whole lot of what you don’t want.
“And then, I got what I wanted. It was glorious. The heavens opened up, the angels started to sing, and little woodland creatures started to emerge from their hiding places, finally safe to roam free. I realized that all the pain and suffering had been worth it!” – This one’s a mixed bag. The part about finally getting what they wanted is great, uplifting, inspiring even. But the whole insistence that it was “worth it”, really just perpetuates the belief I dissected in the last point – that suffering is necessary. I’m not saying that suffering can’t be useful, by the way, it’s just not necessary.
So, in essence, the woman who was trying to tell her story to Abe and the crowd was saying this: “Let me take you on a journey. First, I’ll drag you all down to the vibration I used to have. And then, I’ll bring you all back up to where we all already were before I stared telling my story. And although the problem part won’t be fun, the big where we all come back to our high vibration will be satisfying as heck.” And all Abe did was say “No thank you. We’d rather stay here where it feels good the whole time.”
Why create pain to highlight pleasure?
What this woman was essentially proposing was that we all start slamming our heads against the wall, because it would feel so damn good when we stopped. Sure, we feel good now, but wait until we feel some pain, then we’ll REALLY appreciate how good we felt… um, feel. Afterwards. When we get back to no pain.
Why would we do this? Why would we be willing to sacrifice our well-being, even for just a few minutes? And why are we so drawn to telling and hearing stories of how people overcame their problems? Why would we be so compelled to reactive an old issue, something that feels bad, just to explain how we solved it?
Well, for several reasons:
- We like to brag. Let’s face it, if you had a big issue and you overcame it, you’re proud of yourself. And you want everyone to be proud of you. How can they possibly understand the magnitude of your achievement, if they don’t fully understand the problem you overcame?
- We want validation. If we can get others to agree that our pain was worth it, or that we’re successful, or that we did good, it helps us to feel better about ourselves.
- We want to inspire. Perhaps your story of overcoming adversity can show someone who’s also currently struggling that it’s possible to succeed. In fact, you can recall how similar stories have inspired you in the past.
So, I should never tell my stories again?
Are all these reasons really so bad? Should we really always abstain from telling our old stories? Isn’t it ok to get a little validation, or to feel proud of ourselves? And shouldn’t we actually be striving to inspire others?
Telling your old stories isn’t intrinsically bad; it can go either way. You just have to be discerning. You have to pay attention. Where is your current vibration at? What’s your audience’s vibration? Will your story uplift you and them? Or will it just take you all for a ride, one that doesn’t leave you better off than when you started (and possibly even worse off, due to all kinds of unwanted crap having been activated)?
This woman was sitting in a room with people who had been raised to an extremely high flying vibration. That’s why they were there and Abraham had delivered. Introducing a story of hardship in that moment would’ve meant bringing the entire audience down. That was not the time or place for such a story. Abraham’s singular intent was to take everyone from the wonderful place they were currently at and bring them to an even higher point of attraction. The woman’s intent wasn’t necessarily different – she almost certainly thought her story would be uplifting, but she forgot to first gauge the current vibration of her audience. Had she been sitting with a bunch of unhappy people who were looking for some hope, her story would’ve been stellar. In fact, her description of struggle would’ve resonated with them, mirroring their own frustrations. “Yes,” they would’ve said, “I feel that way, too. If she could feel that way and get to a better place, then perhaps I can, as well.” But when seated among a group of deliberate, conscious receivers, her story would not have served an uplifting purpose.
The better alternative
So, what should/could this woman have done differently? What was Abe trying to lead her to? If she had simply cut the whole “problem” part of her story off and stated only the end, i.e. “I got what I wanted!”, Abe would’ve let her speak. This was the high vibrational part of the story. This was the feel good part. Do you need to drag yourself back down into pain in order to fully appreciate the pleasure? Well, most people think so, even if they don’t know that they do. But no, the painful part of the story serves no purpose at all when you and your audience are already at a high vibration.
If you ever find yourself in a low vibration, feeling despondent and hopeless, then by all means haul out that story of overcoming adversity. It will inspire you. But not when you’re already feeling good.
But what about inspiring others?
What if we’re in a high vibration and we’re trying to uplift them? How do we tell the story in a way that doesn’t drag us back down and reactive the old problem in our vibration? Here’s how: Minimize the struggle. I know, I know, we tend to do the opposite, exploring the struggle and often exaggerating it for effect. Don’t do that. Play it down. Talk about it briefly, just enough to activate some resonance with your audience and then MOVE ON. Yes, I’m yelling at you. People don’t tend to hear this bit if I don’t yell at least a little. Don’t justify why you were there. Don’t talk about it for 20 minutes. Yes, you may be painting a vivid picture, but all you’re doing is reactivating all that powerlessness. Do you want more of that in your life? Remember that the longer you focus on something, the more momentum it builds. The Law of Attraction will immediately begin gathering components that match the frequency of what you’re focusing on/ talking about/ sharing with the world, and bring them to you.
If you need to tell a sad story from your past to make a point, make sure that it doesn’t activate sadness within you. Stay general enough to keep your emotions neutral.
I’ll give you an example: You may have heard me say that Lightworkers have often had difficult childhoods. In order to illustrate that point, I might bring up an example from my own life. So, you might hear me say a couple of sentences about having felt misunderstood, ostracized, different, etc. And then, I move on. I won’t tell you detailed stories about teachers who mistreated me, children who bullied me (honestly, I don’t even remember their names), or adults who saw how broken I was and did nothing. One might say: “Well Melody, if you’re truly vibrationally stable, shouldn’t you be able to handle talking about your past like that?” To this, I answer: How in the hell do you think I stay so stable? I leave the past in the past. I haul it out only when necessary and then I talk about concepts and generalities, and make vague references to events. I don’t just do this verbally, I keep my thoughts vague, as well. Because no matter who you are, when you focus on something, you activate it. If I begin to specifically focus on painful incidents from my childhood, I will activate them again. I will begin to feel bad. Why would I do that? If the memory is no longer active in me today, meaning I don’t generally feel the way this memory, if explored, would cause me to feel, then there is no earthly reason to dredge it back up.
But I want to tell my story!
This can be hard to hear, I know. It certainly was difficult for that woman in the hot seat (the chair people sit in when they ask Abraham questions). She so wanted to tell her story. She didn’t want to hear that her tale of triumph, one she was so proud of, would actually only bring everyone down. She didn’t want to stop and feel the vibration, and talk only about how good she was currently feeling. She didn’t want to let go of her past. She wanted to show off her battle scars, and be congratulated for all she’d overcome, and maybe even give others some hope. And that’s all fine and good. Like I said, this just wasn’t the time or place for that. What she didn’t realize was that in that moment, she was more interested in telling her story than in feeling good.
This all comes down to timing. Be careful about the stories you choose to tell and when you choose to tell them. How much do you need to disclose? How many details do you need in order to make your point? It’s generally a lot less than you think. I know, this is a bit rich coming from someone who can’t seem to publish a blog post under 2,500 words, but I’ve been able to learn this lesson in a powerful way (and no, it wasn’t comfortable. Like I said, I can be a stubborn puppy). I live in Spain, but I’m not fluent in Spanish. When I speak with people, I generally cannot express myself the same way I would in English. So, when I attend a spiritual workshop here and want to participate in the discussions that are usually part of that work, I have to find the essence of what I want to communicate and just bring that across. I can’t tell all the stories I’d like to tell, or embellish them with details, jokes and exaggerations. I have to contend myself with communicating the bare minimum, the facts, with no flowery additives. Well, I’ll tell you, I got really frustrated at first. I beat up on myself for not speaking Spanish at a higher level (I’m actually now convinced that I haven’t been inspired to make that jump to total fluency precisely because I needed to have this insight about communication). I wanted to just be able to translate what I would’ve said in English, word for unnecessary, superfluous word. And then one day, a fellow workshop participant came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed hearing me speak. She loved how I brought everything down to its core, how I seemed to communicate only the basic essence, but that it was precisely this style of communication that she found so powerful. She told me that she always had tons of insights when I shared my experience. Well, go figure. My inability to communicate EVERYTHING (except the essentials), had actually proven to be more effective in sharing the essence of what I wanted to bring across. Taking everyone on a ride through my troubled and painful past experiences, no matter how funny I could make them, was not only totally unnecessary to their understanding of the insights I wanted to share, but would’ve just gotten in the way. They were at a high vibration already! They were going to understand an insight that lived at that frequency! I didn’t need to drag them through the mud first, they were already there! Sometimes, a few simple words would get everyone nodding and smiling with perfect understanding.
The next time you find yourself telling a story of how you overcame something, take a moment and think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Where are you taking your audience? Where are they currently at? Will dragging them and yourself down to where you used to be, really be beneficial to all? Do you need to tell the story at all? Why not just talk about how fabulous your life is now? If you used to be ill but are now well, why bring up the idea of illness again and again, especially if the people you’re telling it to aren’t currently ill (in which case it might be relevant, but stay GENERAL and move on to the healing part of the story quickly). Do you really need to explain how your business was failing 2 years ago in order to celebrate that you’re doing well now? Do you really need to rehash how your son was depressed as a teenager to fully appreciate his happiness now? Do you really need to talk about how you and your husband nearly got a divorce a few years ago, to fully appreciate your intimacy and epic love now? Well, most people would say yes. But then most people don’t know what you know. Think about it. Try coming from a good place and just taking it higher and higher, instead of taking everyone on a muddy ride first. Tell only the positive parts of your stories. Focus only on what’s going well. See how that feels. Then, activate some old story that isn’t relevant any more, but which you’ve always loved to tell for its dramatic effect. See how that feels.
This can be a hard habit to let go of. I get that. So take it easy and be nice to yourself. Be aware of how you feel. Ask yourself if what you’re currently doing is going to make you feel better (and not worse first), or worse. Find your balance. And then, tell everyone how good you feel. That’s one story you should always tell.