Your snacks are ready, the popcorn is still warm and your drink is in the holder by your right hand. You sink into the red pleather lounge chairs in the movie theatre and recline just enough to get cozy – but not so much as to fall asleep – and wait for the movie to begin. You look around, surprised that you’re the only person there – when the trailer comes on.
You’ve brought your popcorn halfway up to your mouth when you realize what you’re seeing on screen. It’s your childhood backyard. You stop, sit up a little and are suddenly very interested. Cut to the next scene, it’s your elementary school and your open wooden locker with your name on top written in crayon on construction paper. Your winter coat hangs there, waiting for recess to start.
Your life, in a 2-hour recap, plays out before you. Your popcorn goes untouched but that drink is empty because you were drinking without even noticing, you were so enthralled with what you were seeing.
All your memories, photos you’ve seen, stories you’ve told and been told, on the big screen.
The mood of your movie, the scene that just happened while you read those three short paragraphs… that’s one of the filters you’ve chosen for your life. I wrote an article for Elephant Journal recently and gave a short intro to the Filter Method. The Filter Method is a trick I use with my patients and clients to help shift perception and loosen the emotional hold certain stories that we tell have over us
What none of us realize while we live our lives is that the stories that we tell are all tainted by our memories, which are far from perfect. We have certain ideas and perceptions which filter our experiences and allow us to see and feel them only a limited number of ways. For instance: if you walk around with a deep belief in your own luck, you’ll feel like it didn’t rain on your beach day because you’re lucky! You’ll use that day as just more ‘proof’ of your luck.
If you walk around all day with a deep belief that you’re lucky and it does rain on your beach day, you’ll probably notice on the news the next day that something terrible happened on the road to the beach and you’ll think: I’m so lucky it rained and I didn’t go there, it could have been me. You’ll use that day as more ‘proof’ of your luck.
This works no matter what your filter is.
So, if your movie has a filter of bad luck, if you go to the beach on a sunny day, you might get a sunburn and use that as proof of your bad luck. If it rains, you’ll focus on that being proof. See where I’m going with this?
Now, if you’ve been around awhile, you’ll know that I’m not a proponent of positive thinking just for the sake of it. I think it can be harmful, used as spiritual bypassing for moments that you really need to feel and transform. Not all of life is lucky, fun, happy, and unicorns and rainbows – and it’s not supposed to be.
What is important to know is that YOU are writing the script that becomes your life and you’re using your filters to do it. You become the hero of your story by writing your story that way, but choosing filters that support that belief.
If you’re stuck on a filter that is leading you to difficulty in any number of ways, it’s worth watching your life movie and finding out what filters you’re using and trying to change them.
This is where I turn out to be a great guide. Within a short time, I can usually hear your filters because I’ve trained myself to hear them in between your words. I love listening to you and your story and guiding you to realize what filters you are using – which ones are helpful and which ones are harmful. And then YOU receive the joy of taking back the script and editing as you see fit.
My favorite part of my job is exactly that moment where you regain the self-assurance necessary to take control of writing your story instead of letting your history be in charge.
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I love this quote so much, but I’m not asking you to let go necessarily. I’m asking you to shift your filter, to CHOOSE to see your story in a different light, one that is more beneficial to you. There is no such thing as the absolute truth. Someone else could live your same exact life and interpret it in a completely different way with a different filter. The best part of that is: YOU CAN DO THAT TO! You can have your same history, change the filter, and use it as a springboard toward the life you want.
You can start right now. Watch that movie, find that filter, and get to changing it.
You’ve got this.
Now, Tell Me: What’s one major take away that you got from this post today? Write it down, someone else could use your thoughts, I promise.