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.
Perfect timing as usual. I just left a relationship and moved onto my empty land (tenting it until I build is not too tough in Hawaii). Everyone wants to know the gory details, and I find myself telling it…but I’m so happy with the freedom I now feel, I really don’t want to go there. This posting has reminded me, I don’t need to go there…I’ll just expound on the freaking awesomeness of going to sleep under the most amazing canopy of stars and waking up to a gorgeous sunrise and going for a long cool walk with my dog every morning. THANKS for the reminder!
I found someone with a similar ‘writing attitude’ as you. Check out the About section near the bottom of this page: http://rebel-tv.com/flow-junkie/
Thanks Fonzy! I’ll check them out. 🙂
And here I’m one of those people that really like telling stories that had a comical twist where I’m the main character. Although I do tend to prattle on a bit excessively. I need to let other people talk a bit more during my conversations I think… hmm.
I am thinking that talking about overcoming obstacles creates more obstacles because the universe “thinks” you must therefore like obstacles!
I keep reading WAKEUP – BECOME CONSCIOUS, know yourself, so on, in trying to explore all of this, it keeps coming down to “energy”.
I am getting that the good thoughts/expections you put out, is the LOA to bring in what you want.
But I am also beginning to realize that I don’t know what energy is. In your blog you said: “I’m looking for energy patterns”. What is energy? Has anyone ever asked you this before? I did search your blog to see, and see nothing on it. Would you consider doing a blog on energy?
I would love to understand it, but since I think I am new at this, there must be others as well trying to understand what it is, and possibly like myself getting muddled on it.
If this is wrong posting about this here, I apologize.
Hey there ID,
Have you read my free ebook? You can sign up at the bottom of each blog post (or click on Free Stuff! in the Navigation bar running across the top of the page. It actually provides the foundation for all my blog posts (yeah, I know, I need to make that more clear…) and should answer your questions.
Awesome advice! Especially for us writers who LOOOOOVE to ramble. LOL!
Thank you! 🙂
That puppy in the picture looks just like me when i’m being questioned by the “authorities”. And as usual i’m too lazy to get into the story. ‘s just that people don’t handle it very willingly if you’re not all about what you did whenever. Was what interrupted the interruption in a recent coaching. That’s some crazy business 😉
Even though you made wonderful/very useful insights and interpretations about what happened in the Abe session the “No thank you. We’d rather stay here where it feels good the whole time” permise, felt a bit strange. Maybe it’s because I’m still a newbie and never felt inspired to go that deep on LOA and energy interpretation. But on the other hand, I do believe to have also a good insight to provide 🙂
For a person who is not as knowledgeable in interpreting energy, this would appear as entering in a place where where you only deal with feel “good junkies and nazis”. Pardon my blunt expression, but in such situations I don’t think that there is only a vibrational discord from the part of the person who is feeling blocked, but also from the part of the audience that is not fully in a state of positive and secure allowance of what may come. What I’ve learned through you and my readings is that there is that is One nature. And to let a better feeling flow is “just” switching the light. But on the other hand, a 100% stable light and vibration does not exist. Only highers and lowers and they evolve and adapt to all the stimulaes of our life, while Who We Really Are becomes more aparent more often.
So my point is, if the audience was really secure of themselves, would allow the woman express. And being in such positive environment, would make her express and give exactly what some people might have need and not be that aware. Give love is always positive, and I do understand the concept of tough love, but maybe I did not get the gist of what really happened due to some lack of awareness (ha-ha! lol)
So, dear Melody, I realized that you adjusted your ways in this blog for a better good, but if you get this comment, I feel that an answer would be really useful, not only for me. If I missed something in this blog about the best way to ask you questions, please somebody enlighten me.
Warm regards to you and to all!
She is simply telling the story to a wrong group of people. It’s like she’s trying to teach her own version of the alphabets to a group of English teachers. Her story is good but of no value to them. They probably have heard it a thousand time – same story, different names. And since the message from the story feels wrong to them, she frustrated them when she insisted on telling the story.
I agree their reaction is a little harsh.
Read my response to A. Blindy above. The point was this: Abe had a very specific agenda, which was to raise everyone’s vibration as much as possible. They do their work on a very general level (there’s a reason for this, I can explore it in an upcoming blog post if you guys want, but essentially it makes their lessons applicable to more people), which means they normally will not discuss specifics.
They have allowed people to tell their stories in the past, but in this case, they were demonstrating that sticking to their agenda was ultimately much more uplifting. They were right. By cutting out the sad part of the story and dealing only with things that would take us all higher, we actually ended up in a much higher place than if we’d taken the detour this story offered. It was also about timing. There’s a time and place to work on the problems, and there’s a time and place to just let it all go. The theory is that if you can truly let go, you don’t even need to work on your problems.
My personal view is this: If you can successfully ignore all your problems and feel genuinely good (you can’t fake it, that’s denial), then go do that. But, if you aren’t able to do that, which most people aren’t, there’s a lot of value in briefly listening to someone’s story and then helping them shift it to a more positive place. When the mind is yelling “I have a problem, dammit! And I will not let go of it until I am validated!”, then it’s quite helpful to offer some validation, unlock the death grip and shift.
Abe is teaching that we can just let go and focus purely on things that make us happy. They are totally right, and I’ve personally received some massive insights on this topic very recently (blog posts to come), it’s just that not everyone is able to get to that stage yet. Some of us can’t just let go yet.
Abe was teaching something very specific here, and if you think of it as an advanced technique, not the only way to go (which is NEVER what they say…), it will make more sense. In one of the latest workshops I saw, a woman came up and Abe didn’t let her speak at all. They just sent her back to her seat. What she was about to talk about would not have fit into the flow that they were creating for the whole audience and I believe they called her up at all to demonstrate that we need to be selective. I’m totally aware that this came across as cruel to many, especially when Abe exclaimed “Don’t feel sorry for her!”, but then didn’t explain themselves. I understood what they were doing, but I’m certain that not everyone did.
I believe Abe are heading more and more towards the energetic ideal – the pure theory which will not stay theoretical for much longer. They’re telling us not to take it all so seriously, to let go, to get over ourselves, and not get so stuck into our problems. They’re teaching us that when you set the agenda to feel good, do only what feels good. Don’t allow anything that doesn’t match that into your reality at that time. Turn off the TV program that feels bad. No, you don’t need to watch it. Walk away from your complaining neighbor. No, you don’t need to talk to her when she’s like that. Don’t see your friends when they just want to bitch. Don’t engage on that level if it’s just going to break you down. Even if you just do this for a few minutes a day, in those few minutes, be selfish. Be discerning.
I hope that explains it. Regarding questions, I don’t always answer the comments anymore, but I do read them all and often use them to write blog posts. You can also formally submit a question for the blog through my contact page.
Thank you for the thorough and enlightening explanation!
Have a nice week 🙂
Melody thank you, you’ve just explained why I have always found before and after weight loss photos uncomfortable instead of inspiring.
the wise ones in some cultures (can’t remember the source) made it a rule that a person can share a painful experience only 3 times.
I am proposing we add triump stories to the rule too.
I have been using Louise Hay’s affirmation: ” I release the past and forgive everyone, including myself.” The ” including myself” gives me a free pass that means I can skip beating myself up for not knowing better or acting in a different way. Louise acknowledges we usually did what we thought best at the time. The past is useful for insights into negative beliefs and patterns. Once noticed these can be dumped. And the affirmation helps. I also use another one: “what would my life be like if I chose to give up on focussing on unhappy experiences and perceived slights and humiliations? “
I have recently found your blog and it has been a great help.It made me sigh with relief.
I have a question unrelated to the post.I had an abusive past and have trouble sleeping during night as i am mortified of ghosts.I have read your blog entry about this and i know they don’t exist.Then why am i gripped by an irrational fear at night and have no control over my thoughts…the end result being that i am in a state of panic and sleepless.I am not able to envision any solution using LOA. Kindly help or point me in the right direction.
While I can’t tell you specifically what your fears are about without talking to you, I can give you some advice:
First thing: You do have control over your thoughts. If you can’t seem to wrangle them in, go really, really general. I usually tell people to just see themselves surrounded by a bubble of light. You can’t get much more general than that.
Second, you have to step into the fear. Explore it. I know, this sounds super counterintuitive, but it works. Relax into the panic. It will not get stronger, as you might fear, it will actually dissipate. And then you’ll get clarity. This, REALLY, REALLY works, but it will probably require a bit more explanation. I thought I’d written a blog post about this, but going through the archives, I can’t seem to find one. So maybe I didn’t… Which means I need to. Stay tuned.
Oh, and there is this post which offers a breathing technique, which may help: http://www.deliberateblog.com/2012/05/29/overcome-anxiety-with-the-7-11-breathing-technique/
More to come soon!
Oh..wow!thanks for taking the time to reply to my mail. You said that i should face my fears, somehow it made me feel that you believe that i might be stronger than i think i am and it feels good believing you. I feel braver already.Look forward to your post.
As they say in Scotland..” Pure dead brilliant” . Reading my mind and the feelings of the last few days and bingo … giving me exactly what I needed! Thank you .
Thanks Melody! Love this post! I feel the same way when people talk about their past problems and as Abraham (Esther) says”bang the drum of what you don’t want”. In my head I’m all “no no no let’s change the subject..new happy stuff”.
I just LOVE you Melody. Period.
A thought just occurred and I had to tell. I was thinking that perhaps finding humor in the sob story, if I absolutely must tell it to feel like a hero and brag, might mitigate some of the ‘low energy vibrations’ associated with my past. I think if I can find a way to tell my story in a funny way, at least people would be laughing. It might even raise the vibration or because people are probably being brought down because of the ‘awww’ factor of my story, they will still be laughing so they will be where they were when I started. I was going to write an article from my teenage years and thought that if I wanted to touch on some touchy topics because I really want to address them, I might as well try and make it a little funny. Seriousness is what takes away the charm from pain. I can’t laugh when I am in pain but if I am telling the story to a bunch of happy people, I can try to make it funny and if I’m talking to a bunch of people I know nothing about, I can still make it funny. Either way, even if I’m not helping as I would perhaps like to(I’m not sure if I’m ready to help anyone, I just want to tell my story he he), my major concern is that I am definitely not hurting. Unless of course, the people I’m talking to do not get my sense of humor in which case, I’d rather not tell at all. But I so badly want to tell. Oh my. I am just like that lady who wasn’t allowed to talk. Ha ha ha. Hilarious.
Oh yes, I have noticed this myself, so thanks for the reminder.
How best to deal with people who love rehashing these stories? I totally feel the lowering of the vibration when they do. They even rehash stories about me that they remember, but I am sooooo past that. I don’t even think that those events happened but they are so sad, how can anyone in their right mind bring it up, yet they do, those buggers. I do not hang with the anymore, but if it’s a relative at a wedding or similar event, I don’t know how best to deal with it, other than they do end up leaving me alone eventually. So it works itself out. Hooray for LOA!
This is a great post, which came out at just the right time for me.
I have recently been achieving things that I felt I couldn’t previously, and often times, people tell me they are proud of me for working through my fears. When people say this, I don’t like it because it reminds me of what I felt previously and makes me feel like crap. Now I understand why. I have tried to explain this to people, but now I know how to explain it better. When I am told that people are proud of me, it makes me feel bad again and I just want to feel as good as possible, thank you very much.
This post also made me think about Pacing and Leading . Couldn’t the person you spoke about who just wanted to be heard have also been helped by being paced, and then having someone lead them in the right direction, toward a more empowered feeling and an insight that they do not need to tell their story? I’m not saying that what was done was wrong, I am just asking whether pacing and leading also could have worked to help make the desired change.
Yes, this person could’ve been helped in an number of ways. But she wasn’t actually looking for help. She was trying to tell a story that she thought would be uplifting, but which Abraham demonstrated, in a rather blunt way, would not really serve that purpose. One of the things I’m noticing more and more in Abe workshops is that they are doing much less in the way of helping people with their specific issues, and giving us more and more of the big picture theory. 🙂
Melody, In paragraph two after, “So, I’m interrupting them for their own damn good, really.” You forgot “you’re welcome!” hahahaha xoxoxo