Stopping the cycle of the ‘Meaning Making Machine’
Yesterday I shared, that we are literally inventing our own reality with the stories we are telling ourselves – through the thoughts that we have.
We give everything we see outside us, around us, and in our awareness, all the meaning it has for us. Even by simply naming something, we are ascribing meaning.
Is there any problem with this – with giving everything meaning, or making meaning about life?
Our thoughts, when constantly recycled and replayed in our minds, become the stories we carry. The more we tell ourselves the same story over and over, the faster it becomes ‘true’ to us and shapes how we feel, perceive and behave in the world.
The problem is that not the thought itself, it is that we are believing the thoughts, believing the stories, believing what we see or perceive as reality – we don’t get to see and experience each other and life as it really is – and so ultimately, we suffer.
So, what can we do to investigate this?
Here are some questions that may assist you to both gain clarity and release, an opportunity to be here as we are, story free, no longer living as a meaning making machine – instead, living clear, present and free, freshly in the moment.
Take some time for yourself, find a quiet place where you can really open to what arises for you through these questions, you may want to have a pen and piece of paper, or a journal to jot down any insights or realisations.
There may be a specific event, or a recurrent theme that keeps arising for you – if there is, use that for your investigation – these questions can be used for any situation, circumstances or event, no matter how old or recent.
Start by checking in with yourself, what is going on for you, what am I telling myself, what has happened, what am I making it mean:
1. What’s happening that is making me make this meaning?
2. What are the actual facts for me from this?
( not the he/she/they did or didn’t or they made me or make me feel – that is the next question – here just state the fact – this is what happened – ‘I spilt the milk’ )
3. What am I making it mean about this situation and this person?
( he/she/they did or didn’t, or they made me, or it is…, they are, they aren’t… )
4. What am I making it mean about myself when this is occurring to me?
( I am… I am not… )
5. What is it like when I do this, when I make this meaning?
How does it feel?
How do I feel?
6. What does it cost me when I keep it around?
7. What will life be like with or without this ?
What is it like when I don’t give this up?
What is it like when I do give this up?
8. Communicate what you discovered doing this with the people involved
( or if you can, get a journey process and do a campfire )
It takes courage, to be real, to be honest with ourselves and with others.
There is such peace and freedom in being with life as it is, being open to what is revealed, present to the moment – such a gift we can give to ourselves and each other.
I’d love to hear how this has been useful to you, what you uncover and discover – please leave me a comment, or if it is more personal you can send me a private message.
Much love to you, on this journey of living a life of Freedom, Love and Joy