We all have our stories. And we love to retell them. As we look back on the year gone by we’ve developed many stories about ourselves, and continued to build on some stories that we were given.
Some stories we were given when we were born, “you are female, born of Cherokee and Syrian blood.” Possibly true (do we ever REALLY know our bloodline, some family secrets run deep). You grow a little bit and are given more, “you’re such a smart little girl.” “You’re so pretty.”
Then as you get a little older, “You are Syrian Orthodox.” Because that is the family church, so you were given that history as your own. Note I did not say, you attend an Orthodox church, but you ARE Orthodox. And that’s how stories are created.
From those first few stories, we develop beliefs about exactly who and what we are. Of course, there is the other side of those stories, “You’re stupid, you’re ugly, you can’t do anything right!”
You grow older yet, and by time you’re in school, you can already see the proof of the strength of those stories. You have self-confidence, or you don’t. You make friends easily, or you feel isolated. You excel, or you fail. Whether in the eyes of others, or yourself. Either way, you begin to create your own stories about you.
Life continues to roll on, and you take on other roles, employee, spouse, home owner. And you begin to tell stories about those roles. You define yourself, and your worth through self-imposed labels. When someone asks you about yourself most of us tend to answer thru our stories. “I’m a wife, a mother, a teacher.”
People even go as far as to identify with their diseases, “I’m a diabetic.” not, “I have diabetes.” And we grow our stories around what we’ve been told, “I will never get ahead in life, because as a wife/mother/homeowner I must work hard for a living just to make ends meet, just like my parents did.” See how we add to our stories? We’ve already written our crappy end based on history.
So, is that last line history or fiction? Don’t we get to choose to believe or not believe that we have roles, so therefore those roles lock us into having to work hard just to survive, and because everyone before us did it that way. Do our stories lead us to believe that we don’t deserve more, that we don’t deserve to thrive in an easier life, that we are just here to work hard, and die? Is that THE ONLY truth, or simply the story we’ve been told and we continue to retell?
Stories are told from the perspective of the teller. Two siblings raised in the same house by the same parents can have two different stories about their childhood. Like History books. I’m not saying history books are fiction. I’m merely saying that when a story gets told by different people it has different perspectives.
I know I have read stories for example, on the history of Native Americans, from a white man’s perspective. And then read the same story, written by a Native American, and I receive a different perspective. Who really is to say what is truly an accurate account of history or perhaps just a story told from the perspective of how a person wants to relay the story.
Why am I saying all of this? To point out what we all know. That just because someone says something, tells you a story, doesn’t make it entirely true. Again, I’m not referring to history books being inaccurate.
If you were called stupid as a child did it really make you stupid? Maybe you went through a period where you believed yourself to be. The wonderful thing about stories, is that we get to change them, re-write them, or stop reading and replaying them over and over again.
Perhaps you’ve even heard stories about yourself that were far from true. People love a good story. Sometimes the more drama, the better. That’s part of human nature. But how do you change that.
It’s important to ask yourself what stories you are telling yourself that are simply just not true. Ones like, “I’m fat.” Who defines that? Your ex or your own self-worth? “I’m ugly.” Only if you claim it. “I can’t do anything right.” Really? Do you get out of bed, go to work, find your way home? Then you’re okay, and you are doing something right. “I always get screwed by life.” Yes, you do, if that’s what you expect. How about really looking at your life from another angle? I bet you have more blessings than you are acknowledging.
Don’t make your life a story of negative fiction, and don’t keep writing the same story repeatedly. Your life is not a history book. Just because something happened in the past doesn’t mean history must repeat itself, unless of course you make it so. Author-up. Turn the page and make your story beautiful. Create your life from your own perspective, not your roles, or your labels, or your same old stories.
Be an authentic author. Write your own truth. Create the life you were born to have. Give yourself permission to let go of the old stories, the one’s holding you back in life. File them in the fiction section and start over. The new year is a great time to do that. What will your story look like for 2017?
Signed, your own happy ending