The Transformational Power of Our Stories
When I was a little girl I would often say to my mother; “Tell me a story.” Not read me a story. I wanted her to tell me a story.
Back then I couldn’t tell you what motivated me to ask this of her, but If I were to try and pinpoint a motivation now, I would say, that I was trying to know her, to connect to her. Have her talk to me. I would ask her to tell me about what it was like when she was a little girl. It was a challenge for her. It seemed to take her by surprise that someone -anyone – was interested in her.Tell me about how you and Daddy met.
Tell me about when he came home from the war.
Tell me about your best friend. What games did you play?
Tell me about what was school like.
As time went on she got better at it. She would indulge me. I had my favorites that I would ask her to repeat, like when my father came back from the war and won her heart back, but there was one that totally captivated me. This was the story where I began to understand the healing power of a story.
It was about how, when she was pregnant with me, she got a a really bad case of the hiccups. In fact it lasted for several days! She was at her wits end, and very, very, uncomfortable. There seemed to be no break in site. So she went for a walk in the neighborhood and took a rest on a park bench. Another neighbor sat down to join her and began asking how my mother was doing, how much longer before she was due, that sort of chit chat.
She told this neighbor lady how she was suffering with a bad case of the hiccups. The woman listened and even made some suggestions of what might put an end to these persistent hiccups and finally to change the subject my mother asked her “how are you doing?”
“Well” the neighbor started by saying; “you wouldn’t believe where I just came from, the Police Station!”
She went on to tell an elaborate story about how she had gone down to the supermarket to do her grocery shopping and on her way home a man entered the elevator and robbed her! She went into great detail how the man threatened her, yanked at her purse, and dumped it out. He then took her wallet. She had just cashed a big check, and now all that money was gone.
She was just now returning from the Police Station after filling out a report when at the same time they brought the guy in. It seems there was a recent rash of these robberies and they though it was the same guy. The woman went on and on about this terrifying incident that happened. My mother said she sat there in shock listening to this poor woman’s story. And finally asked her, “Are you alright? Is there anything I can do?”
The woman replied, “Oh I’m fine Dotty. How are your hiccups?” It was then that my mother realized that for the first time in three days she had not hiccuped once during the woman’s story. They were gone!!!!!!!
This neighbor had the wisdom to know that my mother needed to get lost in something other then herself and made up, yes made up this incredible story for my mother to get lost in so that it changed her brain chemistry enough to heal her of her pregnancy hiccups.
It was magic to me, that this woman knew just what medicine was needed. A really good story.
We all have at least one really good story in us that has the power to heal, some of us have more.
I have an old chestnut from my own life, that I have relied on for it’s healing power. I put it in our book, and even find it coming up during sessions. it is about how when I was growing up, my mother would say to me, “Voge, you’re too much!”
So here’s the story. As a little girl I would often come to my mother with requests like: “Ma, can I have a box? I want to open up a lemonade stand up on Castle Hill Ave.”
Her response would be,“You’re 5 years old and you want to sell lemonade to strangers on the street? You’re too much,” or,“Ma can I have some money to buy some crepe paper? I’ve organized all the kids on the block and we’re gonna put on a show!”
“You’ve done what? You’re too much.”
“Ma, I’m going to this great concert; I’ll be gone for 3 days to a town in upstate NY called Woodstock.” And of course she said:
“But it’s suppose to rain…You’re too much.”
As I grew up, others joined my mother’s chorus, reminding me of my too muchness. The nuns who taught me, boys I dated, and even well-meaning girlfriends constantly reminded me that I was dangerously close to going outside the lines of what was considered normal and appropriate. It was always said in a way to shame, rather than encourage.
So you can imagine how I felt when I met and fell in love with Hugh, and one day, when the topic of living together came up in conversation, and I said something to him that was somewhere between a gentle hint and getting in his face. At that point, he looked me right in the eyes and said, “Voge, you’re too much!”
The words I had come to dread had just come out of my beloved’s mouth. I was taken
aback. ”Oh no, not him too I thought. Should I defend myself, back down, explain, or walk away?
But what he said next took me totally by surprised, ”And I love your too muchness!”
What did he say????
I was too much and he loved me for it?
I never knew how much I had longed to hear those words until he spoke them.
Similarly, like many of you who have experienced the power of just one Releasing statement, those words had medicine in them. That one simple little statement released a lifetime of shame, freed my soul and made it soar!
That one sentence changed my life. Since that day I have claimed my too muchness, and no one has told me that I am too much in a way that has shamed me. Or if they tried, I never noticed because a radical, internal shift of my energy, my consciousness, had taken place and I was virtually renewed. Because when Hugh said that to me what he was telling me was that he not only loved that about me, he wanted that of me.
Who knew that years later I would find that I had a story to share with the kind of potent medicine similar to the neighbor’s story that healed my mother’s hiccups. It has not healed anyone of the hiccups, but I have seen this story heal many 3rd chakras issues, like low self-esteem, now accepting their too-muchness and embracing the truth that the world needs their too-muchness.
To this day it amazes me how often I hear from my clients express a similar fear when they say “what will people think? Will they think I’m too much?” Then I tell them this story. It always has a profound effect.
I love telling it. As I said every one of us has at least one story that has the power to heal someone’s hiccups, metaphorically, but rarely do we share these stories of hope and inspiration, instead we usually tell our other story. You know the one I mean. The story of limitation, abandonment, victimhood, and how it plays out over and over again like a TV summer rerun. Of course we try to convince ourselves that this is not just our story, it’s just the way it is. Reality. Life.
So I would like to help you get in touch with an inspirational, transformative story of your own. Take a moment now and close your eyes, and allow yourself to move your energy, your attention, down into your heart. Take some time to reflect and get in touch with your own hiccup story, the one that resides in your heart. The one you might find yourself telling a friend or even a stranger at a coffee shop. A story that has the medicine in it they may need in that moment.
What is the inspirational story that you can offer as a healing, a blessing? You may have not yet shared that story, but in any case bring it up to the surface now.
And now, what’s your other story? The story of limitation you find you keep telling instead over and over again to whoever will listen. What is your melodramatic summer rerun? What is your same old version of the same dam thing? What is the story that prevents you from owning your too muchness?
If you would like to hear the audio version of this followed by some very potent Releasing, Tele-seminar #4 is available to purchase at: http://vogesmith.com/tele-seminars/