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  • Writer's pictureJulie McCammon

Once Upon A Time

I stood alone at the front of the class, at age 12, and looked into a sea of faces, fellow classmates who sat at their desks. I was stock still in my navy blue pinafore and white knee-high socks. Even though my heart was beating out of my chest and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach, I tried my hardest to keep my face like a stone so nobody would know my feelings.

I was sure they could see me shaking even from the back row of the classroom, I knew the shaking of my voice would ultimately give me away.

My English teacher was behind me; he looked over my shoulder as I read aloud in front of the whole class.

“You are dyslexic, illiterate and will amount to nothing!” he said. His voice was harsh, condemning the grate of steel wool on a tender soul.

Inside, I was so full of shame and hurt, it felt like hot lava flowing through my veins as my cheeks turned beet red with embarrassment. A tear trembled on the edge of my eyelash. I refused to blink so it wouldn’t fall. I didn’t want my audience to see my pain. His words rang loud in my ears for many years to come. Causing me to hide my voice as I still struggle to read or speak in front of others to this very day. Perhaps that's why I am much more comfortable finding my voice with paper and pen. Writing feels like a safe place to find my voice.

Once upon a time somebody somewhere said or did something that made you feel not enough. Your confidence was knocked and you felt kicked in the guts. From that moment on you believed that you were somehow broken, not good enough.

Experiences such as these, tend to become encoded across multiple strata of the brain especially when we do a lot of thinking about something we perceived as traumatic or upsetting, which caused our beliefs (thinking we have made true) to become permanently ingrained.

BUT, the good news is that those memories can fade and decay, the less thinking we do around them. Even better is the fact that when we see our ingrained beliefs are not true, they have less power over us. Traumatic events only become a super highway on the map of our brain if we rehearse them over and over again. Otherwise, they will fade into a narrow country path as long as we don’t give them gas.

We are all innocently viewing life through a distorted lens, even if we are not aware of it, especially when we feel hurt or betrayed by something that happened in our past. If however, we are able to see that this distorted view is due to us being caught up in our story, (feeling our thinking about the past); there is a possibility to catch a glimpse that it's our insecure or contaminated thinking that is hiding our innate wisdom freely available in the present moment.

Because of my teachers' judgmental words I have suppressed my self-expression, quieted my voice, and been terrified of what others think of me or what they say behind my back.

As I understand the nature of how our mind works, I see that the more attention I give those thoughts, the more they are kept alive, the faster they move and the bigger they become. If I withdraw my attention from a thought, I rob it of its fuel, I rob it of its energy. A thought is only alive for as long as I give it attention or believe it.

There are times when we feel like victims. When we forget how the mind works, we slip into our old habit of entertaining insecure thoughts, causing us to feel those insecure feelings. Simply put, “If we think we are a victim, we will feel like one.”

Those feelings are the signal to remember how the mind actually works, then we will see the experience for what it is: insecure thought.

It is not possible for anything, other than our own thinking, to create a feeling. Trusting this breaks the spell of getting caught up in our thinking and believing it. We get to choose whether we want to race down that super highway in our brain or instead take a stroll down a country path.

“Your experience from moment to moment is between you and you.”

Ken Manning et all Invisible Power.

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