Stories organize how you experience your life and are a key way to communicate your experiences to other people. How you tell your stories is based on how you see yourself. The narrator in your story filters the details, descriptions, and meaning of your experiences, and is shaped by culture, community, family, relationships, and events. While you can’t change your past, you can change how it is encoded in your brain through how you narrate your stories.
- Your task is to create a self-reflective awareness where anything from your memory (images, thoughts, emotions, actions, body sensations, etc.) is available to you to experience now in your current state of being (emotions, body sensations, perceptions, etc.). With practice and training, you can develop the confidence to know that you can experience this state now without getting lost or taken over by that state.
As a human, you have two types of memory: implicit and explicit. Since implicit memories involve experiences you don’t remember, one of your biggest challenges is to become aware of your body sensations and the urges that come up inside of you that are connected to potential implicit memories. Your brain reacts to implicit memories as if you are back in the experience from the past now, and your body sensations and actions tendencies fit your past experience instead of where you are now.
An example would be a veteran who experienced trauma in the field during a war. As he walks down a street in his current life, he hears a car backfire, his brain responds as if he is back on the field under attack in the war. Adrenaline then floods his body, creating the emotion of fear, and he immediately gets the urge to run for safety. A problem, of course, is that right now he’s not in a war, but simply heard a car backfire: his brain has misfired.
Share Your Experiences
How often has your brain misfired in your marriage or love relationship? For most of us, this occurs on a daily basis, usually in small ways, but sometimes the misfiring can cause major backfires that can feel like explosions. What has your experience in your marriage or love relationship in NYC been with how you tell your stories? Join the conversation, and share your experience now.