We all have a story and no one gets through childhood without a chapter on pain. Not me, with an alcoholic dad. Not your father, uprooted from house to house over a dozen times with a depressed mother, an emotionally absent father and a sister with a personality disorder. How about the H. family, who lost their mother to cancer without warning, or E.N. whose family struggles with a learning disabled family member, or M.S. whose dad died & whose mother had a break down when he was 13.
How about you? What’s your story?
The thing about our stories is that they are based on the past and the past is over. Something happened; it pushed us one way or another; we responded, made our way through, and then it was done. But here’s the trick: we can hold onto it as if it’s still happening. The past always moves on. Not us, though. We can retell the story so vividly that our heart doesn’t realize it’s not back there anymore, and we suffer over and over again, right here and now. Retelling a dead story chokes off our life force. To live well, we must question the impact and validity of our stories… Am I truly limited by the past? Is my perspective accurate? What do I need to let go of in order to be free in this moment? What is my pain all about and does it have to define me? …
Everyone has the option of redefining their experiences, of making them meaningful, of turning them into a jumping-off place for the growth of compassion, wisdom, and resilience. We can write our Self in as victor or victim. The choice is ours. Not everyone sees the possibility.
How about you? What role do you play in your story?
Being the author of our lives doesn’t mean we deny or ignore our past. It means we take the raw ingredients of experience and decide for ourselves what significance they have. We cannot avoid this; we do it every moment of every day, whether we are aware of it or not. And our freedom, our happiness, our future rest on the version of the story we tell ourselves.
How about you? What will be your story?
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ― Brene Brown
Keeping you in my story …
With love, always,