Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dennis On: "What Do You Mean? "It's Just a Story""

What Do You Mean? "It's Just a Story"

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorIf I had not....
...had a handicapped brother in the 1950's who had a bad habit of lighting the curtains on fire at our house.....then my parents  would not have felt he had to receive better care at a New York State Hospital.

Had he not been sent the NYS Hospital for the parents would not have seen so many parents drop their handicapped children off and never come back....

If my parents had not seen so many parents not come back to see their handicapped children ever, after dropping them off...they would not have started the Sunshine League for parents of handicapped children who did that and needed to go see their handicapped children and keep them in their lives.

If there had been no Sunshine parents would not have met the Rosenthal family who also had a handicapped son who felt they needed to help stopping parents from just abandoning their handicapped kids to the State.

Had the Diehl's not met the Rosenthals, they would not have become such close friends and even vacationed together as adults and kids in the Adirondaks.

Had the Diehl's and the Rosenthal's not vacationed together, Jim Rosenthal and my sister would never have met. 

Had they never met,  Jim would never have asked his mom 15 years later if she knew anyone he could date when he came home from Ranger School in Boise, Idaho.

Had he not asked and the Diehl's not known the Rosenthal's from years earlier, she would not have suggested Diane.  

Having suggested Diane, and Diane saying yes  (she could have said no) they would not have married and moved to Idaho.

Had they not moved to Idaho they may never have heard of the WCG and asked for a visit which ended them up attending WCG in Boise, Idaho.
Had they not asked if I wanted to come for a visit and had I not said "you bet," I never would have picked up the Plain Truth during some pretty boring days visiting.

Had I not gone to church and heard a sermon on the size of the universe and realized that I never heard a sermon like  that, I may have forgotten all about it, but I didn't.

If there had been no Vietnam war, no JFK, RFK and MLK blown away,even though we didn't start the fire....I may not have thought of going into the ministry.

Had I chosen Roberts Wesleyan Seminary instead of AC I would have had a different religious experience but I went Pasadena instead and now how that went.

Had I not been able to stop my icy slide down the side of San Jacinto Peak 3000 feet to the desert floor in a stupid move on a freshman field trip....

Or...missed a flight to Boise that was hit by a fighter jet...
Or...choked to death on piece of meet at dinner
Or...killed in a head on in Kentucky that I still can't figure out to this day where that car headlight to headlight went..
Or...a whole bunch of other stuff

I'd have a different story to tell.  Or others would tell a different story about me.

But, none of us are our story because the story could go ten thousand different ways at any point along the way.  A left instead of a right.  A yes instead of a no.  A wave instead of a sneer.  

Someone else making a decision about you when they could have just as easily made it about someone all it would take. 

We are not our story even though if the story is stressful enough, we have to medicate our "selves" to live with it.  If we seek counseling , what we really are doing is working through our story.  We council in how the story went.  How it hurt us or made us this way or that.  We try to understand the story or rewrite the story or maybe fix it.  But all that is within the story and we all have one.  

So what do we do with our stories?  I so have to watch out starting my story these days with, "I used to be a pastor."  You see, we all identify our selves by our story and giving up that story for a new one is not easy.  Actually most never do.  Most of us hunker down in our story and repeat it over and over as if somehow some magical change would come to make the story go away.  We are all capable of getting stuck in the muck of the anger, disappointment, fear, skepticism and resentment our story brought to us in living color.  

The mind has a wonderful trip it plays on our true self to keep the story going or at least to keep the rancor and bitching alive and well.  It builds us a pain body that hibernates mostly but then needs to come out and feed so that we never forget we have a story to tell and usually how bad it all was.  

Indulge me a bit on Eckhart Tolle's view of the pain body.  I find this rather hard to argue with.  From a comment by Barbara Clark...

"Our pain-bodies are the energy of our past hurts: the bumps, bruises and scars of life that we never really dealt with fully in the moment. The result is that we carry that pain in an energy field within us.

We all experience pain in our lives and pain-bodies are both individualistic and collective. Whether that pain is from individual circumstances or part of a collective pain because of our identity with a particular group in history that has suffered, negative things do happen to people.

Some people and groups have heavy pain-bodies and it is precisely these people who have a better chance to awaken spiritually than people with lighter pain-bodies.

Most people probably do not want to recognize that there is something within them that seeks negativity, pain and drama. But the reality is that for many, negativity is an addiction. Pain-bodies feed on negative emotion.

Nowhere are our pain-bodies more obvious than in our relationships. Often each partner will re-enact their drama frequently. The pain-body knows exactly which buttons to push in your partner, and it feeds on this drama in personal relationships.

So how do you recognize your pain-body? Becoming aware of your pain-body is the first step in diffusing it. However, it is not often easy to see the pain-body in ourselves, so it is often much easier to see the pain-body in another.

How do you strive to continually diffuse your pain-body? Author Tolle suggests that we must constantly strive to be present. Instead of being “caught up in the mental movie making” of our thoughts and emotions from the past or concerns for the future, he says that we can learn to not add to our pain-bodies by becoming as present as possible in all situations.

It doesn’t matter if these negative thoughts and emotions are from years ago or just minutes ago: continually practicing being present diminishes our pain-bodies because in doing so, “our very Presence then becomes our identity.”

Pain-bodies will fight hard to stay alive, so you may be thinking how could you let go of past hurts or collective suffering? Some may argue that we have to remember; that it is part of our collective identity as women or minorities, for example. Alternatively, individual pain-bodies may heavily identify with traumatic things that happened in our childhood. While there is nothing wrong with remembering, there is a difference if we define ourselves by our suffering. This is the pain-body feeding upon itself and in doing so, the energy of all that suffering becomes our identity. So the challenge is to move away from defining ourselves by our past and we do this by becoming present."

Consider this: “Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now: and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?”-  The New Earth-page 141

I don't know why I had to have the story I did with WCG, but I know it was just one of thousands of possibilities.  I can't change the story that has already unfolded but I can change the one that opens up from now on.  

"Comedian" Bill Hicks said it well.

"The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride."  And we kill those people.

I'm just sayin......


Dennis C. Diehl


Anonymous said...


Was this all part of a plan, or just coincidence. That's the question. Was it meant to be this way, or was it just time and chance that caused the events of our lives to fall into place.

I don't think we'll ever know for sure.

Black Ops Mikey said...

The theory of alternative universes says that all those things you described as not happening and even more have happened, just not in this particular time line.

Quantum physicists can be so rotten: Imagine a world where there was no Herbert Armstrong, no Hitler for Herbert Armstrong to fashion himself after... it's all true if we believe these particular (or is that, particulate) scientists (at least some of them).

Maybe you're better off after all -- better than you may think or can even begin to imagine....

Anonymous said...

How old is this Dennis? Senior citizen? He seems to repackage his same ideas and repeat them over and over and over again. I'm guessing he thinks that if he does this enough eventually everyone will agree with him?

DennisCDiehl said...

This Dennis is 62. This was something that Gary had on file from way back and asked if he could post it. But you're right. I tend to repeat myself as do others on other topics. i think we could all pick from a list of key phrases and match them to those who regularly stop by.

It's never a matter of agreement. Perhaps helping along the way a bit but that doesn't seem to happen much either.

I believe I'll leave future articles for discussion up to you guys. I have pretty much said all I wanted to to process this experience and I even find myself saying..'you've said that before.." :)

Maybe it's a 62 thing!

Retired Prof said...

Once I was complaining to a fellow storyteller at a festival about my dog Bozo's many transgressions: running away when he was supposed to stay home, going home when he was supposed to hunt with me, refusing to retrieve birds I had shot, or even look for them, dragging stinky carcasses into his house and growling at all who approached, and on and on.

Michael said, "You'd better never get rid of that dog. He's giving you too much material!"

He was right. Happy, lives don't make good stories. No conflict, no plot. No plot, no audience.

It's possible (but not necessary) to have order and contentment at the beginning, but it better be disrupted quickly. It's possible (and usually smart) to have a tranquil scene in the middle, but it better lead into confusion and distress. It's possible (but not necessary) to have order restored at the end.

We need to experience disruption in order to generate the interesting parts of our story.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Of course we repeat ourselves. How can anyone come up with totally new stuff all the time? I could be accused of harping on the same things all the time because I do. I do try to put them in different forms and contexts though.

If what I think changes, what I write will change. don't anyone hold their breath for that.

whatmeworry said...

Sheesh Anonymous, what a buzzkill.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Have to say more, Dennis. Some may resent you, and me too, but that's their problem.

You've contributed a great deal to my personal store of knowledge, and I appreciate your pieces. Don't let a sore head or two dissuade you from continuing to write.