What you should know about that talent you long for
You know that talent you long for? the one you’ve dreamed you had just to wake up with empty hands? How about that talent you secretly envy your friends for? And that beautiful genius you so admire in your favorite star? There is something you are missing when you long for these gifts, something important that you need to know.
In the Pillar Article What is Story Alchemytm, you discovered that very early on in life you inherited or created Story Fields for almost every aspect of your life.
You learned that these Story Fields are just like the stories your mom told you when you were a child. They have the 5Ws: who, what, where, when and why. You understood that the reason why you are full of old hidden stories is because that’s the way your brain makes sense of and stores reality.
In Pillar Article Are you playing small? What you should know you realized that whatever limitations you are bumping against right now, beneath the circumstances there is a learned limiting story. I call it a Limiting or Prohibitive Story Field. You will learn about those in the next Pillar Article, so sign up for the Weekly Blog Digest here.
I presented the analogy of your mind as a farm. There are all kinds of crops planted there. Some are thriving and nourishing. Some are rotten and poisonous to you.
Each of these fields is a Story Field. It holds a story you have learned from your Social History, your family, community or culture or from your Personal History.
Basically, you now know that story is the default system that your mind uses to absorb, interpret, archive and apply information.
You have inherited and created Story Fields for almost every aspect of your life. You have hundreds of inherited Story Fields from your race, family, culture, nation and community. Those are also embedded in your psyche. On top of that, as you grew and became an adult, you created hundreds more Story Fields to interpret reality. Those are still running.
Story Fields become Neural Maps
And running is a good way to describe your Story Fields because as soon as your mind establishes that the Story Field you absorbed works to deal with a situation, it considers that experience as evidence and installs the field as a Neural Map in your brain. That map becomes a blueprint to interpret similar situations you encounter in the present.
Today we are going to imagine an early-life scenario, what Story Field could have been created and how it then could serve as a blueprint that distorted the way you perceive and respond to current situations in your life.
“Look at what you did” your mother scolds you when you are seven years old. “By bragging about the award you got you shamed so and so, who did not get one.” It was your very first award. You were so proud! You showed it to your mother with a heart full of pride. Instead of being proud of you, your mother (through whose eyes you saw yourself) felt ashamed of you! That hurt you deeply. She told you that you were bad. You felt so guilty about hurting so and so, whom you liked. You felt bad because mother scolded you. Emotionally the experience of receiving an award went from a celebration to a scary, shame-based experience. This may go down as the following Story Field:
“I (who 1) must not brag about my achievements (what) because I will make my friends (who 2) feel bad (why). When someone praises me (when), I must turn the spotlight to others (who 3) to make them feel good (how). If I am so conceited as to toot my own horn (where), then I should feel appropriately guilty (how 2) because I am a bad, selfish person (why 2).”
Is it a wonder then that you have a hard time accepting praise? Is it a surprise that you cannot FEEL joy in your success and instead focus on what you have not yet done? You don’t know why you cannot succeed when you work harder than others. You don’t know why you cannot accept your value and name it. Others are constantly promoted over you. What is happening?
An old Story Field is coloring and shaping your present. You are trapped in a Prohibitive Story Field aka a Tiny Story. By the way, the story above is an archetypal Story Field in women. I’ve seen it in dozens of creative women with little variations.
Observe the following elements in this Story Field:
- The “whys” became installed as beliefs or values, two psychic elements with strong pull in your subconscious mind. Belief becomes biology and reality. Value becomes morality and judgment.
- The “when” became the “cause” part in the cause and effect statement at the core of the story, which in this case could read something like: “When someone praises me, I must deflect credit to others in order to be loved and not be a selfish person” and “When I praise myself, I am being a bad, selfish person.” From now on, when someone praises you, the Story Field is activated.
- The “where” can become a place or context. In this case it became the context of praise, credit or achievement. It may eventually include anything related to it, including: success, ambition, remuneration, recognition, promotions, etc. Recent studies show that even now in the 21st Century, women are scarce in the big stages and boards, earn less than men and get much less recognition. Connect the dots.
- The “how” becomes a rule of conduct and can also become an expectation. In this case it is both a rule of conduct that establishes External Actions: “I must turn the spotlight to others,” as well as an expectation: “they will feel good if I do this” (which means they will love or accept you and you will be a good person). The “how” has also become a directive for Internal Actions: “I should feel appropriately guilty” —which infers being judged and found guilty. We will explore the role of Internal Actions in self-sabotage later on in the Pillar Articles. (Subscribe to get them here.)
You now have a program of behavior that is activated any time you are praised, given credit or recognized.
The Gifts you don’t have
Let me share with you the story of how I lost —and found— my singing voice.
For most of my adult life I KNEW I could not sing. I did not have a musical bone in my body. I was tone deaf. I could not carry a tune if my life depended on it.
I knew this. My mother often reminded me of it. My friends pleaded me not to join them singing, as I threw them off the tune.
It was not an opinion, but a fact confirmed by many witnesses through many years that I could not sing.
But I longed to sing. I longed to fly in the wings of a melody. My Sacred Child, Angie loved to sing. She said that singing felt as being carried by angels. Since she had been named for angels, she felt a hole where her song should be.
“Never mind that! I need to accept the fact that I cannot sing,” would be my response.
I had plenty of witnesses that this was an “objective” reality.
Therefore, it came as a total shock when —prompted by my desire to develop as an actress— I went to a voice coach.
She tested me, playing each note in the piano and listening as I sang that note back. At the end of the test, she said a few words that would change my life.
“No, Maria. You are not tone deaf. You sang back each note I played, and each note you sang was exact.”
Those words chattered the reality I had adhered to and had attached my identity to.
She then asked me to sing any song. I sang “Happy Birthday” as I knew very few songs.
But as I tried to piece the notes together, a horrible chorus of Gremlins started scolding me and telling me to shot up. I had not been aware that these Shadows were activated when I tried to sing. In my experience, I tried to sing but the notes came all wrong and then I shot up because I confused everyone else.
But now I realized that the Shadow Chorus was bullying me so loudly I could not hear myself.
Shortly after coming home I had a traumatic memory. I remembered my mother entering the room when I was singing and dancing. I must have been eleven years old. She looked at me with clear envy in her eyes and with a sardonic smile said:
“Thank God that you can’t sing or you would devour the world. But God does not give wings to the poisonous bird.”
I would later understand that this was a “Mother’s Curse.” This is a grave curse, for it comes from the person through whose eyes you’ve seen yourself, the person who is supposed to give you unconditional love. “Mama’s Curse” as I now call it becomes a trance —like Sleeping Beauty’s trance— that will be obeyed until the “curse” becomes a “cure.”
I worked on the cure and today I can sing. I still have difficulty following traditional songs or remembering the tune of songs I learned in my childhood because I learned to sing off-key from my mother!
However, I create my own songs, use voice for healing ceremonies, practice overtones and the most important thing: I reclaim my singing voice. Now Angie can fly in the wings of angels, elevating my spirit in a beautiful melody.
Back to you.
The truth about that Gift you long for
You give yourself many reasons. But the truth about that gift you long for is that you have it but for some hidden story within you, it is being prohibited. You are not accessing it.
It may be that:
- You belief it is not possible so you do not try it.
- You tried, but like me when I sang, you were conditioned to do it wrongly and believe you cannot change.
- You try, but you have a trauma connected to it that interferes with your enjoyment or expression.
- You have your own path or way to express that gift and others criticize you because it is not the usual way. Example: Think of Isadora Duncan and the way she danced. It was unusual and scandalous for the time. Thank god she still did it or the history of dance would not be what it is today!
- You have relatives who have done this “better than you could ever do it” and therefore, you censor yourself out of even trying. For example, your ex-husband was a painter, so now you shy away from picking up a brush. It feels foolish for you to do something so basic when you were married to a genius!
- You have tried, have judged yourself for not being perfect —though you were just learning— and have shamed yourself out of trying again.
- You are afraid to try for fear of embarrassment, shame or failure.
- You now are an adult and expert in many things, and it is embarrassing to be a “newbie” in that area. You tell yourself you should have mastered it earlier and if you did not, that means you cannot.
Perhaps you do express this gift, but in solitude or only among friends or only in a local context. In that case, your Prohibitive Story Field may not be about having the gift, but about sharing your gift with the world.
I believed that I could not: sing, drum, do visual arts, create stage environments, make music…
And today I do ALL of these things in my performances.
Here’s what I have learned about that talent that you long for:
If you long to do it, you were born to do it.
Find out more about how to reclaim your gifts and share them with the world in my free Living your Brilliance Manifesto, where I share the story of how I doubted my talents and played small and how I transformed my Tiny Story into the story of living my brilliance.
Food for Thought:
Play with one gift you long to have. Do it alone and just for fun. Do it to enjoy it. Keep doing it for your own delight or use it to discover something about yourself. Then come back here and share what you discovered in the comments below.
NEXT: Meet the two thieves from the past that steal your present
Discover the two types of Story Fields that steal your gifts, distort your perception, cripple your opportunities and thwart your potential.
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