Breaking Ties With Storylines You Thought You Needed to Finish

#storylines #creativity #mindset #creativeprocess #clippers #honestselfevaluation #truth #creativekatrina

Can you tell when it’s time to start breaking ties with storylines you thought you needed to finish? 

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. 

Like so many others, I had a creative vision and direction locked in my mind for 2020 – with an execution strategy to match. There was definitely flexibility and wiggle room to make shifts and changes on the fly, but I was not prepared for a “full stop”, prolonged break from in-person connection. I also wasn’t ready to lose “non-digital” facetime with folks in my creative coworking community that had become such a fun, inspiring part of my week. I’m still adjusting to a new grounded routine physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, right along with everyone else. 

As we all do our best to refocus in the present and really BE in it, there’s still so much changing and rebalancing in the outside world. The uncertainty of it all can bring up fears and mix them up with frustration and grief about old plans and dreams that need to be reworked and rewired to make sense for a new way forward – and the birth of a new version of you. 

Make no mistake, you are different…how could you not be? The year 2020 shined a really bright light on the global, multidimensional existential crisis we are all working through in ways that are personal to our unique journey and life. Creating from this raw space may feel more personally restrictive than ever before, while also bringing the reality of uncertainty onto center stage at the same time. 

The opportunity right now is to do what you can within the realm of restriction and uncertainty, look more deeply at the stories you’ve been telling yourself for years, and finally see their roots. 

Are your storylines outdated? Ill-fitting? Half-true? Finally complete as is? Or are you unsure? Willing to dig a little deeper to see what you can find out, then finally heal or set yourself free? 

Radical Honest Evaluation 

Rebuilding a life based on outdated systems and thought forms longer makes sense – and that is not a bad thing. 

One of the most powerful aspects of recovery and healing from unexpected challenges is the opportunity to be engaged in life in a whole new way, and allowing in radical honest evaluation. It’s how you learn the art of breaking ties with storylines you thought you needed to finish, and discovering the deeper “roots” of how those storylines developed and evolved. Often the “roots” are bathed in judgment and mis-beliefs that keep you disconnected from your true self while masquerading as part of your identity. In truth, they are just mixed up into a story you began to believe WAS the true you. 

When we allow ourselves to really be present and acknowledge we are in a space of restriction, then ask the deep inner questions we can no longer avoid, it gets us closer to the heart of where we wanted to be all along. This newly revealed personal truth point serves as your compass moving forward, acting as the grounding aspect you need to flow with change and discern what is truth vs an old story line. 

Here are some questions to get you started on breaking ties with storylines you thought you needed to finish: 

  • Am I doing, thinking, feeling “this” out of habit, obligation or desire?
  • Are there behaviors I practice that act as a diversion or coping mechanism? Do I still want to practice them?
  • Are there particular stories or personal connections that circle over and over again through the mind and heart that make me feel bad, less than, guilty, shame, etc.? Do I believe these feelings are actively true about myself or situation? 
  • Can I recall a time before a specific event occurred when I felt differently about myself and life, as well as more open and free? 
  • Do I feel an obligation to carry on a belief system that feels heavy or out of alignment as an act of duty for family members, a partner, friend, or as a means of personal penance for something I feel I’ve done wrong? (i.e. self blame). 

These are some meaty questions that can bring up a lot of insights you might have never even considered as part of the story being carried along in your mind and heart, so be gentle with yourself. Work with them a little bit at a time. There are no right answers; just insights that get you closer to separating truth from fiction and breaking ties with storylines you thought you needed to finish. 

Creating a New Way Forward With Personal Truth-Based Roots 

As a writer, I’m always drawn beyond the surface level diversions in creative work into the meat of a storyline. Whether it’s a film, book, music video, poem – doesn’t matter. I immediately zero in on the storyline that serves as the heartbeat of a creative expression. 

It’s also the place where many of us get stuck in our own creative process, unable to feel fulfilled, satisfied, or relieved because something always feels off-base or not a “complete” truth. 

An interesting thing about a storyline is that we cling to them as a way to process a feeling, experience or inner chaos – and they can be useful as a tool for a while. It’s why familiar tropes work in story as a connection point, providing resonance within our human nature and offering a way to feel more understood and less alone. 

However, we often keep using them way after their shelf life has expired, without realizing they are not useful or we outgrew them ages ago. We simply act them out over and over because we are so used to the blame/shame/victim/punishment tropes of life and have no idea how to create a new way forward built from our true personal compass points. 

In addition, we often keep ourselves tied to the illusion of needing to finish something completely. It’s part of what keeps us trapped in old behaviors and coping mechanisms, tied to fear of failure and letting other people down. It does not allow us to put ourselves first, or honor what suits us now. 

To create a new way forward you need to be willing to see it all. Fears. Mistakes. Missed opportunities. Roads left untraveled that are now closed. Connections lost or need to be cut. Aspects of yourself that need love, attention and support. 

At the same time, you need to dream of what could be and what you really desire. What’s possible now? Where are the new points of support and joy? Are there things that can finally fall away and leave you stronger? What is opening up that you didn’t have to work for or plan, but just IS? 

I’m not saying that breaking ties with storylines you thought you needed to finish is simple or pleasant. What I am saying is that you owe it to yourself to create a future storyline built on what you know, have, and desire – right now – while also releasing storylines that keep you locked into a role or experience you no longer want to play, or have completely outgrown without realizing it. 

Stay grounded, open, flexible and keep listening. The storylines that are ready to change will make themselves known the more you release control and simply be present in them as best you can. 

For blog posts on similar topics check out Blend Creative Fire with the Patience of Being in Progress and Connecting, Flexibility and Openness Help Create the Future You Actually Want. Like podcasts? Check out mine – Flirting With Enlightenment – the Podcast for tapping into your inner wisdom for self-discovery, clarity & passion with purpose.