Stories: We all have them, and I venture to to say that we mostly love stories; others’ and our own. Sometimes, we fall prey to getting stuck in our old stories and the ways we’ve always told them. You know, the ones that actually keep us in a certain perspective, usually out of self-protection, laziness, or lack of creativity. This can prevent us from seeing the story/stories from other angles through fresh eyes.
When we’re willing to go a little deeper and listen to the past by being present in the moment, often a new version of the story will emerge, one that liberates us from the confines of the past and reflects who we are now. That, dear reader, is a moment of truth deserving of celebration! Out with the old and in with the new, right?
How are you releasing the old story and welcoming who you are right now? I’ll answer my own question first in hopes of getting you to ponder and scan your old stories:
While sadly not uncommon, when I was a teenager, I was told a lot of negative, limiting things about my capabilities. I internalized those harmful messages that told me I simply wasn’t up to par. I had unresolved and complicated grief from great loss, trauma, and tragedy with nowhere to turn but inward against myself. Turns out I had undiagnosed learning disabilities (ADHD and dyslexia). In the 1970’s, those diagnoses were basically non-existent, the absence of which did psychological harm to those of us who lived with them. Now, I appreciate these diagnoses. That said, they don’t define who I am nor do they stop me from pursuing my dreams; I’ve been able to find the gold in those shadows, and love and accept myself exactly as I am.
Now that I understand this old story, the one that allowed my adolescent self to feel worthless and unloveable, I can love “her” like never before and value my own special brand of uniqueness.
Rewrite Your Own Narrative
Consider your own life and how you have perhaps built a story around a false notion about yourself. Do you believe you’re not smart enough, not skinny enough, a terrible parent, or a failed businessperson? How have you constructed that story? What’s not true about those beliefs? How have those beliefs served you in some way, perhaps by giving you an easy excuse to sit back and not take inspired action?
While you wouldn’t necessarily want to go back and rewrite War and Peace or Leaves of Grass, you can certainly go back and rewrite a false and hurtful narrative that causes you pain or feelings of limitation and doubt. Take a deep dive into your story, rewrite history, and create a new narrative arc that honors your strengths and the awesome protagonist you are.