You can be a super hero

A book’s first chapter doesn’t tell the whole story.

If it did, the rest of the book would be boring. Bestselling books are far from predictable, filled with foreshadowing and plot twists, beckoning the reader onward.

It’s delightful when a writer throws in unexpected twists, and the story has a surprise ending.

There’s no need to go back to re-read previous chapters, because we’ve been there, done that. We already know what happened.

What’s true of books isn’t always true in the way we live life.

We have so many chapters to our lives, yet we often get stuck in revisiting the same chapter, again and again, unaware that previous chapters don’t have to define us.

People have a tendency to revisit and relive some of the most difficult and painful chapters of life history, and even believe those chapters determine how life will end.

The younger me spent most of my mental coin dwelling in past chapters, rarely experiencing the gifts and possibilities existing in the present moment. My most revisited chapters were often those filled with times of difficulty, pain, disappointment, and regret.

This human tendency to focus on the negative, as I’ve shared in earlier columns, is called the negativity bias. It’s an evolutionary capacity meant to increase our chances of survival, by paying most attention to what’s life threatening.

When it came the negativity bias in my life, not only was it not helpful for my survival, it was sucking the life out of me. It often kept me in a state of fight-or flight.

I lived much of my life stuck in the virtual reality of a past that no longer existed. I felt trapped in re-living long passed, painful chapters, often feeling trapped in a villain’s clutches.

I was the victim, and life happened to me.

My mind and my body re-experienced each painful event as though they were currently happening. I used to think the rest of the story would be a repeat of the same chapter, again and again.

I was wrong.

We often cast ourselves in the same type of roles in our novel of life, over and over: victim, villain, hero. It can become so predictable. The actors may change, but the same story lines, with assigned roles, repeats itself ad nauseam.

Back then, I didn’t realize I’m always at a point of choice, and I can throw in a plot twist, and make a new decision, whenever I want.

I wasn’t aware I was the author of my own story, and I could cast myself in any role I wanted. I didn’t know it was me alone who could write in the plot twists that would turn the first chapters on their ears.

I could try on a new role, one of super hero in my own life.

I had to make the decision to write new chapters. When I did, the early chapters simply became the back story from which surprising outcomes were created.

We may have a human tendency to focus on the negative, but we can change it with awareness and conscious choice.

There’s great power in decision. Trying on a new role, and writing a new chapter in life is exciting.

Decide how you want the next chapter to unfold, and, remember to throw in a plot twist. Become your own super hero.

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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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