I am not leaving. (Imagining myself in the role of those who refuse to leave when faced with major hurricanes. I am familiar with my own views on this, but how does it look when I find in myself what I imagine is their position? Or positions, since different people must have different reasons for holding onto that belief.)
Yes. I have decided to not leave. My emotions tells me I should stay. My body tells me I should stay. My stories tells me I should stay. Some of my neighbors and friends (the ones I agree with) say we should stay.
Well, I am pretty sure, but cannot know what will really happen. So, no.
- What happens when I believe that thought?
- Well, I am staying. I make preparations to stay. I board up the windows. Get extra water and food. Make sure the flashlights work. Let people know I am staying.
- Where does my mind go? It goes to my reasons for staying. (Going through different imagined positions one at a time, exploring how each may seem from the inside.)
- The officials always try to make these things look worse than they really are. I have weathered several hurricanes in the past, and it has been OK, so why should this be different?
- I am not leaving my home vulnerable to looting. Nobody is here to protect it apart from me.
- God will take care of me. Even if I die, it is God’s will. I trust God. I trust him to do what is best for me.
- I don’t care. My life sucks anyway, so if the hurricane gets really bad and I die, I will get out of it. If it doesn’t, then I at least didn’t have to go through the hassle of evacuating.
- It will be an exiting adventure. I have never experienced a large hurricane before, and I am pretty sure that this building can take it, so it will be an experience of a lifetime. The best of all is that it will come to me, I don’t have to go anywhere – or pay any entrance tickets or fees.
- What do I fear would happen if I didn’t hold onto that belief?
- Well, that I would leave. I would listen to the officials and do as they say, even if it later on turned out to not have been necessary. I will leave and find my home looted and vandalized. I won’t have trusted God and that him would take care of me. I will have lost an opportunity for adventure.
- How do I treat others?
- I treat others who stay as my allies. (Unless they want to loot my house!) They may not stay for the same reasons as me, but we are all staying. We are all in it together.
- I am OK with others leaving. They are told to leave, and do, so that is understandable. But I still see them as in another category from myself. There is a sense of separation. They are leaving, I am staying, and they may not understand why I am staying.
- I am annoyed with people telling me I should leave, especially if it is directed specifically at me. I make my own decisions. They shouldn’t think they can tell me what to do. I also wonder, in the back of my mind, if they may be right, which makes me more frustrated with them.
- Who would I be without it?
- Free to either stay or leave. More open to different possibilities. More receptive. More available to do what seems appropriate in the situation. More at peace, no matter what I end up doing.
- I am leaving.
- Hm. When I believe my initial story, I am leaving my wisdom behind. I am leaving my availability to act on what seems most appropriate, whether it is leaving or staying.
- My thinking is not leaving.
- Well, thoughts will always be here. They are not leaving.
- And when I believe a certain story, then that story is not leaving. I fuel and rehearse and prop up that story, every chance I get.
- I am leaving.
Going through this – and taking the time to sink into the answers – I got more of a felt-sense of how it is to take those perspectives, and I can see how I am doing the same in areas of my own life.