Change Your Story

Last week, I watched a youtube video of Oprah and Tony Robbins where they talked about the story we create for ourselves, and how that impacts our lives.

I just couldn’t let that thought go. And it stayed with me in the back of my mind as I went about my business for the following days. Then I decided to sit down and write my story, to really be honest with myself about how I speak to myself, the words I use, and the story I have constructed about myself and how it makes me worse or less than I could be. That’s when I decided to change my story and actually write it down. That doesn’t mean coming up with a lie or make up a new fake story about myself. It means taking my story and turning it upside down, interpreting it in a different way, and shifting my focus.

Up until sometime last year this was the story I told myself:

I grew up in a lie, in a family that turned out not to be ‘real’. My mother was my base, my source of learning about the world, and everything she taught me was a lie. So when I grew up I felt like the ground was shaking under my feet. My mother became my worst enemy, someone who on a daily basis seemingly tried to break me down and make me give up on life. Because of all this uncertainty and fear I don’t trust anyone. I can only rely on myself, and not even that. I expect alot of other people but also always expect them to let me down. I judge others harshly and see the world in black and white. I am a coldhearted, pessimistic human being. I took the weight of the world on my shoulders and now I am black and dark inside and I can never be healed. I will never be a good mother to my children, I will only bring them pain and confusion. Nomatter how hard I work, I will never be worthy of love. I am all alone…

That is what I believed defined me. It was a story about loss, overwhelming self-pity, self-hatred, and a childish anger against my mother and the world/universe for treating me ‘unfairly’.

It took me about 2 hours to rewrite my story, and I tell you it was bloody hard. It was SO difficult for me to write anything positive about myself, that I actually started crying mid-sentence several times. At the same time it was surprisingly easy. Like the positive version was just as clear to me as the negative one. The hard part was bringing it out into the open. Here it is:

Although I later in life discovered that my childhood, our family, was not what I thought it was, it did at the time give me the stability I needed to get through the hard times ahead. By my father’s example I learned the power of knowledge, responsibility and sacrifice and he was an always-present source of stability and my home base. From my mother I have my creativity, imagination, the courage to speak my mind and a sense of adventure. The responsibility I took upon me to protect my father and my younger brother, and in many ways help my mother in the best way I could at the time, shows me how much love I have inside of me. I am capable of love and I am a fierce protector of the ones I love. If I work hard at it every. single. day. I will be able to one day soon forgive my mother for her faults and weaknesses, for the many cruel things she has said to me and the many ugly names she has called me and negative labels she has put on me, and for not being the mother I needed and wished her to be. And I will forgive myself for the things I felt forced to do, so that we could all survive. I will someday soon be able to let go completely of the darkness inside me. Everyone, even I, deserves to have joy in their lives. I have dear close friends in my life now who love me just as I am and want only the best for me, as I want for them. My husband loves me and shows me every day that I am worthy of his love, even when I am my worst self. I am not alone. If I make an effort to break my patterns of thought and actions, I will be able to teach by showing, my children how to be creative, tender, respectful and generous human beings. The trials I have been through at an early age has given me strength and perseverance, and courage to move forward in the face of fear.

Do you have a story you tell yourself, that holds you in a steady grip? Could you change that story, change your perspective?