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What’s the difference between a future you have to settle for, and a future you really want? Just a story you made up. 

The universe is made up of connections and relationships. Without those connections and relationships, the universe would literally fly apart and cease to exist. As humans, it is the stories we tell ourselves that create the connections and relationships the create our world. Without those stories, we, and our world, fly apart.  

Those stories can create a powerful, magnificently abundant and joyful universe, or they can create dark, painful hell holes that suck the life out of us. Which direction we go in is entirely dependent on the stories we make up about what happens.  Without Connection and Relationship, there is No Universe, and No You!

Over the past few decades researchers in almost all areas of science have come to the conclusion that nothing exists unless it is in relationship to something else. You might expect this in areas like sociology, or even anthropology. But when it also appears true in Quantum Physics, it gets your attention. Quantum Physicists posit the existence of virtual particles. Cool. But they go on to state that virtual particles only come into actual physical existence only when they come into contact, into relationship, with other virtual particles. Nothing exists without relationship!

20 years ago, I heard a pastor give a sermon that still resonates with me today. In it, he cited Thomas Aquinas, a 12th century Catholic priest and philosopher wrote. Aquinas said, referring to the Holy Trinity, that we are all like the Trinity. In each of us there is the Lover, the part of us who loves others. There is the Beloved, the object of the love of others. And there is the Act of Loving. It is the act of loving that holds us, and the universe, together. That’s a powerful statement. Being connected is when we are most powerful and when anything is possible…IF we pay attention to it. I love the concept of love being what holds the universe together. Where is that love, that source of connection, found? In the stories we tell ourselves, and each other.

Don't worry, I'm not going down a religious rabbit hole, but I do want to cite an ancient source to get you thinking. If you look at one of the most read, revered, and oldest sources of knowledge goes another step further. "God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light." The whole passage in Genesis, in the Bible, is an exercise in language literally creating the physical universe. In our relationships with ourselves, and with others, language, and stories, do the same thing. They literally create our universe. Stories create what to think and feel about ourselves, our families, our friends, and our communities. They create our worldview. They generate failure, and success. Stories can take our businesses to fantastic heights, or cause them to fail before they even get started. Language and stories matter. 

As humans, we pay attention to what is aligned with what we believe. Most of the time it’s automatic and unconscious. That means, as long as we operate on autopilot, which is what most of us do most of the time, we are aligning ourselves with all the stories we adopted or told ourselves as kids, consciously or unconsciously.  As adults we still act as though those stories were all true. 

We don’t have the internal bandwidth to pay attention to everything, so it’s natural to rely on those unconscious filters our stories created. Unfortunately, those stories too often lead us to a place of Conflict. We get bored, frustrated, overwhelmed, upset, distracted and stressed on a regular basis. When our being is in conflict, we are unable to see any potential for escape and feel trapped and overwhelmed, and feel the only control we have is deciding to fight or flee. Those feelings are all generated in Conflict. To change that, we need to learn how to pay attention to creating Connection instead. It’s a process that is simple to understand, but takes some effort if we want to consistently replace Conflict with Connection.

The Connection State is when we are connected, in a positive way, to all our internal options and highest potential, and to everyone and everything in the outside world. When we Connect our inner power, to the outside world, we are able to tap into all the energy the world, and the universe, contain and use it to propel us upward in our evolution.

You can’t be in Connection and Conflict at the same time. These map to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems – to our hard-wiring.

Which state you are in is dependent totally on your beliefs – the stories you are telling yourself at any given moment. Almost always, these stories are nothing more than a reconnection to a past story. You made them up and you keep reacting to it as though they were true. Stories can be changed. You can decide to create a new story to replace the old one, and train your mind to reference your new, more empowering story. You have all the power, if you’re willing to embrace the possibility.

All of your suffering, and all of your joys, comes from your thinking, from the story you’re telling yourself. Connection taps into the positive energy in every part of your world and network. Connection is where real super powers lie. 

Conflict is suffering, it is a drain to all your energy, and when you are in conflict, you are losing power. In Conflict you yield your power to things that cut you off from your powerful self.

The dirty little secret about the Conflict state is, none of the stories that put us in that state are true! As humans, our innate tendencies are toward positive growth. Put another way, the universe really wants us to achieve, to be successful and happy, no matter what. When we are in a connection state, all those possibilities are present for you. When we are in a conflict state, we are cut off from those possibilities. What directs us to those states are the stories running in our head, and the Conflict state is the most pernicious, because it is all based on made up stories. None of them are true, we made them up, usually when we were just kids. Anytime we feel bad about ourselves, any time we feel emotional or mental pain, we feel it because we’re in a Conflict state. The good news is we always have the power to change our states.

The process of change states from Conflict to Connection is simple. Simple, but not always easy. When you feel bad, or are in pain, ask yourself what the problem is. Find its source. Find the story you are running in your head. 

I’m not good enough. Money is hard to make. I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have the patience. Nobody will follow me. – These are all examples of the negative stories we constantly run. They’re based on something we saw, heard, or learned as a child, and none of them are true. 

To change from the Conflict to the Connection state, you first identify the story that is putting you in the Conflict state. (Don’t worry if you don’t get it exactly right, you can always refine it). Next, decide on a new story to replace the old one, but don’t be minimalistic with it. Money is hard to make, might be your old story. Your new decision might be, Money will flow to me in abundance. Or, I can’t do that could be replaced with, Creating success with my gifts is my natural state of being.

Now here’s the secret to making the new decisions, the new stories, stick. Write down your old story. Next to it write down your new decision. Finally, look for evidence to support the validity of your new story. Look at things you’ve done or been involved with. Look at how others are demonstrating the validity (whether you know them personally, or saw it on TV). Look for big things, and small, that prove to you that the new decision is correct. Once you start looking, you’ll discover lots of evidence. Don’t forget to write them down!

Finally, whenever you feel yourself in the Conflict state, quickly note the old story that invoked the pain, recall the new decision (or make a new decision right now), and think about some of the evidence that proves the new decision. It won’t take you long to train the brain that the old stories don’t matter. The brain will quickly relegate those old stories to the trash bin and replace them with the new ones. The more you do this, the more you brain learns to always reference new, empowering stories, instead of the old, limiting stories.

The more you are in Connection, the clearer your thinking, the broader and more powerful your neural networks become. The more you are in Conflict, the murkier your thinking, the narrower and weaker your neural networks become. If you’re like most people, the instant decision, is toward Conflict – it takes less strength to believe in our weakness, than in our power. However, Conflict is inherently weak, and can be overcome simply by changing your thinking, in modifying the story you’re telling yourself, to be one of Connection and power. You decide.

What’s the difference between a future you have to settle for, and a future you really want? Just a story you made up. 


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