"When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending." - Brené Brown
Does your story empower or diminish you?
We are enamored with stories. We all have our own story. Some embrace it, while others spend their lives running from it. There is the story, and there is what we make of it. In other words, how we relate to our story can significantly impact the quality of our lives.
Our story can drive us to be and do better, or it can limit and diminish us. We don’t get to choose what happened to us in the womb, birth, childhood, or developing years. But we do get to decide how we interpret it and what we make of it. We have the power to choose how we see our past and decide to view it in a way that empowers us. Or, we can get hooked on our own story, recreating pain and suffering in a continuous, destructive loop. I speak from first-hand experience. I believed that I was born all wrong for most of my life, and as a result, I was unworthy, unlovable, and not good enough. My energy was spent proving the opposite by achieving career success, dating beautiful women, and becoming a relentless people pleaser. It took years to connect the dots, break free from my own life sentence, and rewrite my own story.
How do you rewrite your story in a way that serves you?
First, ask yourself if you are willing to give up your story. How has it served you? How has it helped you to get to where you are? Are you able to be complete with it and surrender to that which you cannot change because it's the past? Can you get vulnerable from within and acknowledge the entirety of who you are, story and all? Can you free yourself from your own claws of fear, self-doubt, not good or lovable? Can you surrender and accept yourself just as you are? Giving up your story can feel like losing your identity. Take a leap and give it up if it no longer serves you.
Second, relate to your story with new eyes. You thank it for serving you and getting you this far. I once wrote a letter to my fat for providing the illusion of "safety" and getting me through tough times as my comfort and insulation. Seeing my fat through a new set of eyes meant shifting my perception of it from "protection" to "threat.” A fresh new perspective means you look back and reprogram how it occurs in your thoughts. You rewrite your story from the future, not from the past.
Third, own and take full responsibility for your story while nurturing and loving yourself through it. Self-soothing is a learned skill. Taking complete ownership of your life is a super-power that makes you a hero. The fat served me, but taking full ownership meant saying goodbye to donuts and adopting new, healthier food choices. If you own it, then you can change it. No one will come and rescue you. The villains and the heroes live within. You have you, and that is enough.
As Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Your story can make you or break you - share your story and break free from its captivity. You are limitless. Your story is what YOU make of it. Rewrite it to empower you - cheers to you and what is possible.