Change Your Story, Change Your Life
The EAP fourth principle states that ‘When something is authentically observed it changes‘. The inclusion of the word ‘authentically’ refers to the capacity one has to observe what is, without any distortion of filters.
A Filtered Version of Events
The recently released movie Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, beautifully depicts this very idea. The movie depicts an older high school student, Greg and his encounter with a family friend and co-student, Rachel who is diagnosed with cancer. Through all but the last ten minutes of the movie Greg is challenged in his relationship with Rachel. All of the drama is a direct result of seeing life through his own insecurities and foibles. Greg, as is true for most of us, is unable to observe life authentically, he (along with the audience) get caught up in the filtered version of events, not what is authentically the truth. What unfolds is typical of the dramas that we all face when we are caught up in our own stories. It is only in the last ten minutes of the movie that Greg finally removes his filters, and begins to observe authentically. Now he sees things that were always there but that he had failed to recognise. In authentic observation Greg gets to see Rachel for who she truly is and as with this fourth principle of EAP, having authentically observed Rachel, she changes.
Expanding Awareness (Observation)
The irony in all of this is, that expanding one’s awareness (observation) is what brings about change, not trying to change the subject of our awareness. Trying to change the subject might at best result in momentary change, which can only be sustained through will and control. Of course this approach leads to stress and drama, often associated with rebellion and separation. It is hard for any of us to believe that sustainable change happens as a result of enhanced awareness. Once Greg saw who Rachel really was, through her eyes and not his, the understanding of who she was, expanded, as did his love for her. The drama that had been so evident throughout the whole movie was replaced with appreciation, love and respect. Rachel didn’t have to change for change to occur. Greg just had to remove his story-filter.
We Each Have a Story Filter
We each have a story-filter, which in EAP we call ‘your story’. This is a belief that emerged in our formative years that can be contained within one sentence. This sentence becomes the foundation to the filters that we place on our life experience. The filter is so strong, that irrespective of the reality that is present in any moment, all we can see is the story. This is why our lives keep on turning up presenting the same old stuff. We keep on getting what we have always got! This is why changing the external environment doesn’t work. Giving someone a wad of money doesn’t solve their financial problems. Their story of poverty doesn’t change just because they have been given some money. There are many stories of people who have won the lottery who within a very short period of time go bust. They can only see themselves through the filter of their poverty story, and that become their self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, as we continue to reinforce our story, the resources needed to maintain the illusion become exhausted, and we find ourselves in loveless relationships, unfulfilling jobs, and having to manage lifestyle diseases. Divorce, depression and drama become the norm. Changing marriage partners, changing jobs and moving home are perceived to be the solution, but in fact compound the stress and drama.
Live Each Moment in Awareness
Based on this principle, all that was required was an increase in awareness. The more aware we become, the less we are affected by our story. The inverses is also true. The more we align with our story, the less aware we are. The less we are impacted by our story the greater the possibilities for how we experience life. The more we live each moment in awareness, the more love, joy, creativity, abundance and inner-stillness we experience. More on this in my next blog.
Take a Moment to Consider
Take a moment to reflect on how much you are or are not fulfilled in: your employment, your relationships, and your health. Your answer is a reflection of your state of awareness.
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Read About The Other EAP Principles