Our lying pasts have become the perpetual stories of our lives. We have become clueless actors in a cosmic play in which we keep reciting scripts that repeatedly lead us into the same old drama—in relationships, our spiritual lives, and even in our careers. While we cannot change the past, we can flip the script on it by recognizing how it is contaminating our here-an-now existence and making an empowering plan to rewrite it. While we are our parents’ children, we are not their choices!
We replay these scripts, robotically moving through each scene, unaware that we are carrying the very thing it takes to rewrite our stories. Like victims of a cosmic soap opera vortex, we repeat the same mistakes hating, and being shocked by, the inevitable results. It is living in our pasts. In the case of a less than stellar childhood, we are being held hostage to someone else’s past. Brokenness breeds brokenness, but a lifetime of change is empowered by a single act of courage.
Your frame of reference is how you see or interpret the world around you — your worldview, your take on things, your point of view, and it is all driven by your life experiences, good and bad. How you make decisions is influenced, on all possible levels, by your frame of reference. Opinions and decisions swing on how you see the world around you. Rule one is accepting that just because something makes perfect sense to you does not mean it lines up with reality or truth. We don’t see things as they are we see things as we are.
Rewrite the Script
All it takes to rewrite your story is an act of your will, the decision to change, and the courage to follow through. It is that simple. So, let’s lay the groundwork to keep you on track. It is quite likely that your old script has led to more than a few unhealthy relationships. A natural progression of script flipping is that many of these relationships will not make the cut.
1. Mapping the Stage
To lay the foundation for your journey, draw a line across a piece of paper and section it off in 10-year increments. Along that timeline, note positive experiences along the top and negative experiences along the bottom. Notice any patterns.
2. Make a Trigger List
Make a list of people, places, things, situations and circumstances that irritate you, make you angry, withdrawn. Include anything that sends you into a negative spin. Take your time. This will take some thinking. As things come to mind, write it down. For each item listed, see if it relates to anything on your timeline.
3. Make a Plan
Referring back to your Trigger List, write a plan of action. What will you do differently than you have in the past? Again, take your time and add to the plan as things come to mind. Flip the script on that old behavior. Just tear up the old script, throw it away, and start rewriting your life. Because old patterns have not been working, shut them down.
Exit Stage Left
In a trigger situation, you might have to excuse yourself from the conversation, or back away from the situation in order to challenge your thoughts. In professional situations, it might mean politely or assertively excusing yourself. In personal relationships, you might have to agree to a “call word” or gesture that means time out or to back off. Consider this when creating your game plan for change.
Wait! That’s Not in the Script!
When you upset the apple cart, chaos follows. When you start applying these principles, you can count on some relationships falling by the wayside. Whether the relationship is platonic or romantic, you have to remember that some, if not most, of your current relationships are based on your old-script personality. These folks have only seen glimpses of the true you. So, when you begin to act foreign to them, their script-personality is fighting for its existence and likely cannot tolerate the true you without a backlash.
Playing to the Rafters
When you begin to act out the new script, surrounding old-scripts do not like it. They begin to play to the rafters acing up, and acting out. You will see extreme behaviors that will surprise you because the more you play from the new script, the more ridiculous and outlandish old-script people will seem. When you see this going on, grab a cup of tea or coffee, sit back, and feel good about the fact that it is working!
Your eyes are finally open and you have outgrown that acquaintance. You are no longer stuck. You are progressing toward destiny. You are gaining focus, and becoming acquainted with your newly scripted life.
4. List of Truthful Trusted Others
This list may be a short as one individual or longer. The key to this list is to choose people that you know will tell you truth without fear of the backlash. Yes. You will likely get your feathers ruffled in the beginning because the old playwright is not going to like the actors going off script. The individuals on this list should be people you can trust with sensitive information, trust to keep confidences, and those who have demonstrated that they have your best interest at heart, and who are not judgmental. Take your time. Keep it with you to jot down anyone who comes to mind. Leverage this list to help provide objective feedback to guide you through when you are in the trenches.
If truthful trusted others are telling you something you do not want to hear, that might be exactly the message you need to consider. It means you have to diligently, and consistently, recheck your new script to see where the old one might have creeped in. You can learn the lines, but you only get results by applying what you learn. At any time you let this go and get lazy, you will know it because you will recognize old funky thoughts creeping back in from their respective graves.
Cut! Print It!
Decide today to commit to the process. Do not listen to the lie that it is not working or that things are not changing. It took longer than a day to morph out of who you really are and you will have to be determined to stick with it until you have completed your new script. In consistency lies the power.
It took years, maybe decades, to get where you are. You did not develop the old script overnight, and it will take determination to rewrite it. Applied consistently, this becomes easier. Congratulations! You have just broken free from the past. Enjoy yourself, my friend.It is time to take this show on the road.