I love Easter.
Like, I really love Easter.
I can't say that I love it for any Christian reason as I left Christianity long ago, but I can appreciate from an external perspective how the "return of the son" was constructed to mirror the return of the actual sun. I can appreciate that a symbol for forgiveness and hope was built into the natural seasonal movement into a time of growth and fresh life.
Many of the symbols of Easter are still based in nature: rabbits, eggs, fresh green grass, bright, bursting flowers – symbols of fertility, of newness. Fertility is the ultimate form of creation, and so, as the snow that covered our tracks and paths in winter melts away to reveal a new ground and a path unmarked by our footsteps, so, too, do we get to write a new story.
This is the meaning of winter turning into spring: creation. Rebirth and new birth. Expansion, upward and outward movement. The wheel turns.
START WHERE YOU ARE
So what does it mean to write a new story?
First you must start with the story you already have. The words, sentences, and pictures we paint our lives with – they’re not always pretty, and they've been developed over decades. They turn into patterns, then into habits, and then into belief systems. Once they’re belief systems, they get harder to break because we tend to believe that our beliefs are unchangeable. We all carry beliefs that are holding us back in our lives; it's time to shift them.
Our beliefs do not control us; we control our beliefs.
Spring gives us the chance to wash away old hurts and regrets. It gives us the chance to forgive. The sun warms us, activates Vitamin D, naturally boosts our mood – the sun actually facilitates the space for forgiveness by uplifting our spirits. We may forgive the wrongdoings of others, attempt to perceive those hurts as opportunities for growth, and come into a space of gratitude and compassion.
We also get to forgive ourselves and start new; perhaps now is the time to challenge an addiction, to find the courage to get help for our mental health, approach an unhealthy relationship in a different way, or an opportunity to just be kinder to others and ourselves.
What will your new story be?
USE WHAT YOU HAVE
You're going to start with the story you already have. First, divide it into chapters that are relevant to you: Family, Work, Dreams, Relationships, etc. Start with one and start jotting down all those same old things you repeat to yourself - never this, always that. You may have to listen to your automatic pilot's voice, because these things aren't always conscious. We'll do one together.
Here’s the current story I tell myself about the Work chapter of my life:
My bosses always end up disliking me. I must not be a good worker because I want to challenge my bosses to be better, more efficient, and to try out new ways of doing things. Bosses hate this and always become resentful. My jobs are always short-lived contracts. I never make a living wage and money is always tight. I am never appreciated enough. I struggle.
What do you notice? There's an awful lot of feeling of not-having, never-moving-forward, and lack in there, wouldn't you say? Yeah, me too. My whole story about work is negative and sad. But just because this is one observation or one perspective doesn't mean it has to be the actual story.
DO WHAT YOU CAN
So write your old story down. Spend time with this, knowing that it will be uncomfortable. Get yourself some tea or coffee or play soothing music. Give the old, repeating story words and flesh it out so that you can access the dark places of your heart. Write down the abusive, unkind words you use against yourself. Write down those enemy lines. Write paragraphs or whole chapters about work, relationships, your family, everything you can think of that you want to shift.
Here are some questions to consider if you get stuck:
- Why do I feel unsuccessful?
- Why do I feel unloved?
- Why do I feel like I can't reach my dreams?
- Where do I feel lack in my life?
- What words would you use to describe your love life, your work life, your home life?
- What do you feel are things people believe about you?
Print it out. Get a pinch of tobacco, sage, a few strands of your own hair, or a favorite song to sing. (Spirits love to be sung to.) Take it to a safe place for fire and burn that story. Sing your song, offer tobacco, or just be present, watching the old you transform in the strong medicine of the flames.
Releasing the old patterns creates a void, and now you need to fill that with the new story. What kind of work will you have? What do your relationships look like? How do you love yourself? Don't get caught up in using perfect sentence structure - start scribbling words that feel strong, powerful, full of love, and craft a new picture of how you want your life to read.
Here’s the new story I've written to counter the old one above:
I have an amazing, compassionate boss with healthy boundaries who wouldn’t dream of resenting the skills and personal gifts I have. I am a challenger by birth, and I honor that path with kindness, gentleness, and compassion. People appreciate it, and they appreciate what I offer and contribute. I’m paid an outstanding, commensurate salary for what I bring to the table. My skills and interests are put to work and they grow in a good and fun way.
Do you feel the difference?
Your future is up to you. The more you concentrate on these loving words, the more opportunities will arise for you to create this new story in reality.
What will your new story be?
Thanks for joining me and please share (link is bottom left) if you liked this article! Let me know what you think in the comments; bonus points if you try it out and come back to report here.