I am not my story
Over the past month I have written each week about some of my experiences growing up, I did so because these experiences have come up frequently in my Writing Wisdom practice and I wanted to share not just the experience and the details of those moments from so long ago but I wanted to share what I see, feel and experience in them now from this safer, perhaps more comfortable place of looking at them as an outside observer far into the future.
Being an observer to my story helps me to see it more objectively and find the gifts from the perspective of my older, hopefully wiser self. Observing my story helps me to look at it without putting myself back in the story thus reawakening the emotions and the pain in those events as they occurred. It doesn’t mean that those emotions aren’t there, but I can choose how I interact with them.
I observe my story and know that it would have been easy to allow myself to slip into being the victim of it all but if I did that the victim has no power. I never want to be in a position of being powerless that is just no way to go through life, at least not for me. Did I learn that from those life experiences, perhaps but I would like to believe that I inherently came into this life believing that I was an empowered being. Powerlessness is tricky though it can sneak up on you if you aren’t vigilant, staying connected to your own truth and speaking it.
My mother told me when I was very little that I was the biggest adult in the house, and I know that she was right because I always felt empowered. Even through my parent’s abandonment and pushing my mother out of my life, I was still empowered and making my own choices, not seeking to be the victim and make someone else my perpetrator or my rescuer to use the victim triangle to help my point here.
The concept of the Victim Triangle also sometimes called the Drama Triangle where you have three characters, the Victim, the Persecutor/Perpetrator and the Rescuer.
The Victim feels helpless, hopeless, complains, manipulates and is otherwise powerless often blaming others or circumstances for their situation.The Persecutor/Perpetrator criticizes and often uses their power destructively.
The Rescuer “saves” people he sees as vulnerable or offers “help” unasked for.
The triangle shows up for all of us along the way and yes, there have been times when I have seen myself as the victim. I also know with others that it is often my go to position to slide into the rescuer role, given the fact that throughout my life my way of dealing with things that happened was to become hyper-capable so it is an easy place for me to end up if I am not careful.
Through years of personal growth work I am better able to identify when I am finding myself in one of these roles, some situations are easier to identify than others but what has helped me more than anything is to separate myself from the situation and look at it from that observer position, like someone peering in the window to learn from the observation.
I learned this practice of observation from my shamanic practice and it has served me well and it shows up in my Writing Wisdom practice too. When I am writing if I find myself in the raw emotions of something that happened and I am writing while sobbing, I often use a trick of switching to writing in the third person. This happened to her, that happened to her. This trick shifts you out of the middle of the emotions and allows you to move into that observation.
As I sit here today and write into and through the stories of my life when I am in those hardest parts, I know that I am not my story, that was my experience yes, but those things do not define me, they are not who I am, they are just what happened. I can then look for the gifts of wisdom and power in each of those situations and I can move on from them with those gifts.
I have my shamanic practice and my Writing Wisdom practice to thank for that, after all when we heal ourselves and we help heal our world and I am committed to both.
If you are interested in exploring Writing Wisdom to look at your past experiences and learn from them, check out my classes at https://www.reneejenais.com/portfolio-1 in particular you may find my Healing Circles the best place to do this kind of work with Writing Wisdom.