I have read that the stories that we tell ourselves are important and can make a difference in how we experience the world. I didn’t understand this. I figured that no matter now something was explained, that didn’t change the facts. I got a new understanding of this a few weeks ago.

I went to a Dance of Universal Peace. It was a nice group of people and the dancing was fun. We got in a circle and held hands and sang and danced. It was sort of complicated at times and it was all I could do to try to keep up with the words and movements. After a while I had to sit down and that gave my mind time to start working.

At first I just enjoyed watching the people. Then I realized that this was either a Sufi dance, or sort of like one maybe. I remembered that my mom had wanted me to go to a Sufi dance with her. She invited me several times.

For several years, my running story has been that my mom was too busy for me-and for a lot of her life she was. But not always… and I had forgotten that she had wanted me to go to a Sufi dance with her. At the dance I realized that I had missed the opportunity.  I saw why she wanted me to go so bad and I was sad and disappointed with myself that I hadn’t made the time for it.

When I thought about it, my first story was-but I was working hard and raising kids and I didn’t have time. Then I realized that during the time that she had wanted me to go, I wasn’t working so I couldn’t use that as an excuse. I started falling into the pit of despair. Serious despair and I had to leave the room because I was so upset.

Then I realized… oh yeah, I was 60 pounds heavier than I am now, I have fibromyalgia, bad back issues and that was back before I had total knee replacements on both knees. Going anywhere or doing anything was very difficult. Getting in and out of the car caused extreme pain and walking any distance was next to impossible.

I wasn’t just busy, lazy or a crappy daughter. There were reasons that I didn’t go with her. But my initial story was…. I was the worst person in the world and I had let my mom down. I usually just pay attention to the initial story and it doesn’t change. It was amazing to me that I worked through all of these feelings in less than an hour. Usually I would get in the “I’m a crappy person” mindset and be stuck there for a really long time. In this case, the story I told myself really did change my reality.

Sure, now that my mom is no longer here I wish I would have gone and just watched her and we could have shared the experience. But we can all figure things like that out when we look back in time. I like this version of the story much better.