Have you ever just taken a moment and sat in silence and noticed the stories you tell yourself? Where ever you go you bring stories with you and share them with family, friends, coworkers, and perhaps to anyone you encounter that will listen. Stories you share over the phone, e-mail, in your journals and the stories that are constantly playing themselves out in your head. Stories about what’s happening to those we love, stories about those we despise, stories that inspire the spirit, and stories that instill fear.
The sum and total of your life is that, from our birth until our death, you are a walking story. Journaling allows you to look at the stories you repeat in your head and that could use some light shining on them so they can emerge out of the shadow. The stories you tell yourself about yourself hold great power over you and depending on how they are told, your life stories can either enlighten or mislead, inspire or discourage.
Taking your journal spend some time writing out what those stories are and look at the underlying themes.
Victory? Betrayal? Struggle? Victimization? Everyone has had some key events in their past, whether it be from our childhood, or more recent episodes of hurt and loss, where a part of us draws a reactionary conclusion about our life stories — even when the conclusions are terribly incorrect. Many perpetuate these stories and our immature understandings of them often make a further mess of our lives in the process – unless a reminder comes to wake us up and reorient our perspective.
One of the stories I used to tell myself and everyone around me is that I am a foster kid reject and I felt abandoned, betrayed and completely wrapped around the victim story. If my parent and my foster parents rejected and abandoned me was I even worthy of a life that feels good? Was I deserving of a relationship that would last forever with mutual respect? Would I ever be able to be fully me when wherever I go I didn’t feel like I fit in?
When I wrote my book about “Childhood Memories and the Adult Awakening“, I took on a willingness to understand, heal and evaluate the stories I kept playing on repeat and released those that were prevalent at that time.
And this is where journaling has become the gateway to my forgiveness practice and finding compassion to those that have hurt. But it was also a way for taking ownership for the parts that I was and am responsible for.
The following suggestions are designed to help you tell your stories:
- Become a Sympathetic Narrator
- When telling your story about yourself, to yourself, become a sympathetic narrator.
In literature, a sympathetic narrator is one who takes the side of the story’s protagonist or main character. Acknowledge your mistakes but do not obsess over them instead view them as learning experiences and take note what you have gained.
Choose What You Want to Emphasize
Any honest reporter will tell you that all stories have a slant. It’s not that reporters try to mislead, it’s just that in choosing what to cover, some things are always left out or minimized in order to create a perspective. And that’s OK. Likewise, in our your stories of loss or pain, deciding what to highlight can bring about the difference between lingering bitterness and a sense of closure.
Whenever I share my story, people have asked me how I am still smiling after having endured so many different challenges in my life. I learned to tap into my empathy and choose to see the victories instead of the pain.
Seek the Higher Purpose
There is a core spiritual principle that our lives are divinely designed for each one of us to get exactly what we need to support our own souls unique evolutionary process. You are exactly where you need to be, which implies that we should not get too caught up in our internal struggles against what is, or what was, which will only lead to more pain and suffering. I will say that I am not a fan of the phrase “everything happens for a reason” because some things can’t be justified by this thought process, but at the same time according to some spiritual beliefs, nothing in our world occurs by accident and there are no coincidences, only synchronicity.
When reframing your life stories, attempt to see the pattern of events that have led you to this moment. These patterns of connectedness or synchronicity are the magical language of the Divine in our lives. When rewriting our stories, seek to see beyond the circumstances and instead at the Divine Order of the unique paths that have chosen us.
As for the Life Story that still plays itself out today:
Work on the 20 Percent
When you say you want to change your life stories, the important thing to remember is not whether you feel 100 percent confident and ready. The more realistic question to ask yourself today is whether you have a least 20 percent of yourself that is strong enough to take the steps, and if you can agree to work on that 20 percent that is committed and willing.
For your growth and well-being, ask yourself to at least look for that part that’s willing to go in and look at the dark side and the commit to work through each moment, each story so that you can find the life you deserve to live.