Indisputable Facts?

Changing the Past is Possible

One year ago today, July 4 of 2016, I wrote a version of a traumtic life story that stopped my scarcity life results in its tracks. 

Even though I have followed the Law of Attraction for over 15 years and have Abraham Hicks Videos on speed dial, I could not shake the scarcity vibe and financial freedom was as far away as the moon. Being raised in a chaotic lower middle class Irish family of ten left some deep impressions I couldn’t shake no matter what I did.

Little did I know I was manifesting my own scarcity. A part of me kept telling the same sad sorry poor me story of being mistreated by an adult family member. Even though it sucked and the person shouldn’t have done what they did, I had to face the fact that I was the one keeping the story alive. Even now that the person is dead, a part of me relived the trauma like my own personal Ground Hogs Day.

I had to own my life.

I could no longer blame any crummy history, person or president for my own skill at attracting scarcity no matter what I did. I had a solid block in the way between me and financial freedom and I had to face it.  Today I am living proof that there is no block that cannot be removed. You see, today, I am living for free in a mountain side retreat where I write about how to remove blocks to financial freedom. One year to the day after I followed a coach’s advice.

I am reposting this today because maybe you were like me. Maybe you have been fighting for financial freedom your whole adult life and maybe everyone else is benefiting from your efforts but you.

If you see the phrase “Scarcity Life Results” and a cold chill hits you, you may have a solid block yourself. A solid block between you and financial success. Knowing you have a block is an excellent first step. Sometimes even reading a post like this can make a person get a lump in their throat or an ache in their upper chest, yes I am talking to you.

It doesn’t matter what you do or who you talk to, just do something about that block. Living in scarcity speaks for itself. I was challenged by one of my favorite coaches (yes, I have more than one) last Father’s day and I wasn’t able to touch the task she presented to me. I didn’t want to do it so I put it out of my mind.

The trouble is, I trust this coach. She has led me playfully over and way beyond some major blocks. Well, on the fourth of July last year, I wrote myself a little reframe of a past traumatic event that forever eliminated my scarcity magnetism. That’s right I stopped attracting scarcity nearly immediately. One short year later, I am financially independent. Ladies and gents, I want that for you too. I hope reading how I did it will inspire you!

Originally posted in September of 2016.

“You know, you really need to change your story about your dad.”  Law of Attraction Coach Laura Brownwood said, focusing her intense but gentle blue eyes on me.

I looked at her rather blankly.  How do I change indisputable facts?

She must have picked up on my reaction. “Everything in your life is a story you believe and beliefs can be changed. A belief is just a thought you think about over and over again.  Change your story, change your life.”  She went on to tell me about her growing up years and alluded to the challenges without giving the specifics any airtime.

“When you tell your preferred version of a past experience, you free up tremendous amounts of pent up emotional energy keeping the old painful story alive.”  Even though I had been through years of coaching, therapy and healings, I was willing to follow her advice.  I had no idea how to change the story and put it out of my mind for several months.

Later I found an Abraham Hicks You Tube video and heard Esther say, “We don’t know what it is with you humans, you are so resistant to fabricating a better life story.  Instead of spending time thinking about what is, make up a new version…write what you want for your life to be!”  Okay! Okay already!  LOL  But How?!?

Soon after, on Father’s Day this year (2016), my dad has been gone for several years now, an idea popped into my mind.  Suddenly I knew how to write a new version of my dad’s story.  It took me until July 4th to sit down at my keyboard and craft the new tale.  Independence Day.  Imagine that.

This little story sinks more deeply into my heart every time I read it.  My father was a raging alcoholic who, well, you can read about it right here.  Welcome to Dad 2.0:

Dad 2.0

I love Southwest Airlines.

I love picking my own seat on the airplane and find the most interesting people tend to show up as seat mates.  Everyone has a story and as a writer, I love listening to them.  Last week, however, the story relayed to me by the retired Army Chaplain in 34B changed my life.

Arnold Palmer and Me

Arnold Palmer and Me

I was flying to Boston to visit an old friend and was working on an article about golf, love and dating.  I pulled an old picture of myself with Arnold Palmer and propped it up on the tray table for inspiration.  My fingers were flying across the keyboard telling stories of what a ladies man Arnie was back in the day when I felt a tap on my arm.

“Excuse me.”

I glanced over into intense green eyes peeking out at me from under bushy Sam Elliott eye brows.

“I hate to bother you but do you mind pulling down the shade, the sun is right in my eyes.”

“Not at all!” I smiled as I reached over to slide the shade down over the window.

“What are you working on?” He smiled back. I explained I was a life coach working on an article on golf and dating.  “Are you single?” I asked.

“Never married. Career was always a major focus and I just never got around to it.”  He took off his reading glasses.  “I’m actually writing a book myself.”

“Really? What are you writing about?”

“I am a retired Army Chaplain and I have stories, literally decades of stories.  I want to share the best of them.  Especially the ones that have weird and unexplained coincidences in them.”

Normally I leave my headset on and focus in on my writing while flying but this time, my attention was riveted to his story.  “Tell me more, if you don’t mind.” I asked closing my computer.

“Well, here is how it all began.  I always asked my young soldiers to tell me where they were from.  Strangely enough it seemed that I always had a story about someone who I had met from their home town.  It was truly stranger than fiction.”

He went on, “I was always able to connect deeply with people after that.  It seemed the Universe knew what they needed to hear.  I started writing these stories down and I saved them all over the years.”

He flashed me a smile.  “Would you like to try it?”

I grinned back, “Sure!”

“Where are you from?”

“South Bend, Indiana.”

“Ah, home of the Fighting Irish!”  He laughed.

“Well, I once met someone from South Bend and he had quite a story.  Would you like to hear it?”

I was transfixed.  “Absolutely!” I leaned chin in hand and got ready for his story.

I thought he was going to take a swing at me

About ten years ago,  I was sitting in the airport bar in Jacksonville, Florida next to an older man gripping a glass of red wine.  He was world worn and it showed on his face.  Deep lines of sadness pulled his facial features down and the puffiness around his eyes and reddish nose pointed to years of hard drinking and even harder living.

As I usually do, I asked him if Jacksonville was his home town.  “No.”  He said, “I’ve been in Melbourne for almost 20 years now, but South Bend, Indiana is my home town.  I haven’t been back there now in a long time.”

He took a long sip of wine and sighed.

“Sounds like there’s a little heartbreak back there.”  I said gently.

He snapped his eyes up to mine and I thought he was going to take a swing at me.  A look of panic melted into sadness again. “Well, I do have a lot of regret that is hard to live with. I never talk about this stuff and I don’t know why I am telling you.”  His voice drifted off and he took another drink.

“I get that a lot.”  I said softly and then let silence rest between us until he spoke again.

“What do you do?” He asked.

“Retired Army Chaplain.”  I returned.

He saluted me.  “Padre! I served in Korea.”  We shook hands.

“Thanks for your service.” I said.

“Can I ask you something, Padre?”  He said lighting up a cigarette.

“Sure.”

I was not the best dad, I know that

“I have made a mess of my life when it comes to my family.  I had a bunch of kids and none of them contact me anymore.  I was not the best dad, I know that.  I was an ugly angry drunk back then and I am not proud of the things I said and did.  I feel horrible about it now.  Especially what I did to my little girl.

Christ, I was a dick.  I think I feel worst of all about her.  Somehow I figure the boys could all figure it out, but she was so bright, precocious and full of life.  I don’t know why her perkiness annoyed me, it just did.  It was as if I had a mission to ‘break’ her of her Pollyanna attitude.

I was harsh with her, belittled her, manipulated and controlled her and as if that was not bad enough, the worst of it was, I touched her.  It took a long time for me to deal with that.  She confronted me once and I denied it completely.  Claimed she was lying.  But I knew.  I remembered touching her.  I am sick about it now.  Sick.”

He drained his wine glass and signaled the bartender for a refill.  “So here’s my question, Padre.  If she will not let me talk to her, can I make amends somehow anyway?  Is there anyway to make this right?”

“Are you ok?” The Chaplain reached into his pocket to grab a neatly folded handkerchief and pressed it into my hands.  Tears were streaming down my cheeks.  “It’s ok,” I choked back, “please go on.”

Well, we talked for a long time.  He was a broken man.  He truly felt remorseful for what he had done to all of his children but what broke him the most was how he mistreated his daughter.  She was the oldest and bore the lot of his rage.  He kept repeating over and over again, “I wish I could make it right.  I wish I could make it right.  I wish I could make it right.”

Soon my flight was announced and I needed to go board for Chicago.  I reached to shake his hand and he stood to hug me.  As is true in so many of my hometown stories, God showed up in a major way for this man.  As he wept I whispered to him, “My friend, God knows your heart.  He knows exactly how much you want to make this right.  You can trust that your daughter will get this message somehow.”

Simply holding that story in your mind will ripple forward

I went on to say, “She has a lifetime of experiences, some bad some good, but she is a fighter.  Growing up with the 7 brothers as the oldest, she has resources that would astound you.  You may not be able to hold her in person or tell her with words that you are proud of her and wish life had been different.  But simply holding that story in your mind will ripple forward and outward and will absolutely shift her life.”

He pulled away and looked at me, tear stained cheeks and blood shot eyes.  “Oh how I wish that was true.”  I pulled out my handkerchief and gave it to him.

The old man put his hand on my back. “Padre, Thanks for your time and your words.  Somehow I feel better.  Tell the bartender I changed my mind about that second glass of wine, would you?”

He pulled the handle up on his suitcase and turned to go.  I watched him walk down the concourse until I could no longer see him.  I knew the Universe was at work and I smiled knowing the power of what had just happened.

The Chaplain sighed when he finished his story.  Meanwhile, I had soaked through his handkerchief as well as the stack of napkins that the flight attendant had brought to me when she noticed my tears.

“It was my dad, it was my dad you met.” I sobbed to him.

He put his hand on my hand and sat their quietly while the tears kept coming.  “I get it, he said, “I get it.  This happens to me over and over and over.  Everyone has a story.”

I don’t remember too much of the rest of that flight. That gentle man sat with me in silence for a long time, as if he were holding a space for me to absorb all I had heard.  Finally I fell asleep, exhausted.  When I woke up, the seat next to me was empty and there was a note on my computer:

Dear Catherine,

Your dad was completely sincere.  He deeply loved you and had no idea how to reach out.  As I looked into his eyes while relating his regrets, there was nothing but openness and genuine remorse.  He may never be able to tell you any of this but please understand, he felt it.

I hope our meeting is the elixir you need to remedy your own heartache over what your father’s behavior did in your life.  You are a beautiful woman and he would have been so very proud of all you have come to be.

Have a happy life, Catherine, the best is around the corner!

Chaplain “Padre” Morris

CURRENT UPDATE

While designing this new version of CatherineBehan.com, which is delicious fun for me, my brother Andy (fabulous graphic design) sent me this response to my revised story of how I viewed my dad. I can tell you that when I wrote Dad 2.0 it was completely imaginary. I wrote the story in July and it is now September.

Andy is the youngest of our family.

Good Morning my Big Sister,

Very interesting healing technique! I am very proud of and happy for you! I can tell you that the man that Dad was in the 60’s/70’s has been gone for a very, very long time. I can affirm that in many ways the depiction of a introspective person in your story echoes Dad’s reality in the years leading up to his death. I reconnected with him in 2001 and we enjoyed a great relationship until his dying day. In fact I was holding his hand the very moment he passed.

Over the course of those 10 years I had the opportunity to observe and get to know him as an adult. He did have sorrow. He did have regret.Dad and I talked about the past somewhat frequently, sometimes with an undercurrent of sorrow. But the defining moment for me happened early on in our new relationship when he admitted to me that he could barely handle raising 3 kids, much less 8. This was a huge admission. The tone and mood of the conversation matched the sentiment. You could see it in his eyes and in his demeanor.

This was a man who had a lot of time to think about things. This was clearly his way of admitting regret. I was able to empathize with this regret; Lord knows I have plenty of my own. It had such a profound effect on me that for the first time in my adult life I was happy to have my dad in my life again.

I am saddened that no other siblings were able to reconnect with him before he passed, but I believe that what you’ve done by writing this story will give you the same sense of fulfillment and peace that I experienced. I  can’t help but envision you shedding a few tears while you wrote it. I can say with absolute certainty that Dad loved all of us very, very much and simply did not know how to let us know.

What a full circle moment, right?  All from “making up a story”! Seriously, I made up a story in my mind that let me allow for the possibility that my dad missed me and regretted his choice to walk away. Truth be told, I was strangely and deeply comforted by my made up version. I cry every time I read it.

I knew that such a conversation might have happened and that was enough to budge the stuck emotional energy anchored in my old story of pain and abuse.  When I got that email from my bro, well, hard not to be cliche about this but. Holy shit.

If you think you may have a block and you are not sure, you probably do. Email me and I can explain how to identify and dissolve a block in 15 minutes or less. No lie. cat@nullcatherinebehan.com

It's easy!

It’s easy!

 

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