I know, I know…you were there and I wasn't so how can I say that your stories are made up. Easy. All of our stories are made up.
I'm not saying the facts or details aren't true—I'm just saying that when you tell yourself that story today—YOU make up the meaning and give it the power to influence your life. Someone else who went through the exact experience might have a completely different story.
Let me illustrate. So the biggest story of my life got flipped on its head recently. I come from a big family. I have a total of eight siblings. However, when I was five years old, my parents divorced and my mother quickly remarried and moved to Germany with her new husband. I was one of the youngest and was raised by my father and stepmother with almost no contact with my mother.
So my story went something like this: "My life was ruined when my mom left me." I believed that I was abandoned by the one person that I needed most in the world. This story had HUGE consequences on how I showed up in the world—both good and bad.
So here is a new story that I have been trying on lately regarding the exact same circumstances: "My life was saved the day my mom left me. Her leaving gave me the chance to become the adult that I most want to become."
I don't need to put all the details out here on the web, but my oldest siblings really struggled through their tween and teen years—drugs, alcohol, suicide attempts, running away, criminal activity, DUI, etc… However, my little sister and I made it through pretty much unscathed by those destructive forces and even went on to college after high school.
The biggest difference between my older siblings and my little sister and I? Time with mom. My two oldest siblings went to Germany with her and the next two actually went to live with her during their teenage years.
I absolutely love my family and I do not share this information with judgment. I share it to illustrate a point. My life was NOT ruined on the day my mom left.
Don't get me wrong—it sucks to not have your mom growing up. But…but, sometimes the thing that seems like a curse is really a blessing.
The story I am making up these days is that the universe was protecting me—giving me the gift of discipline from my father—and keeping me safe from the destructive forces that my older siblings fell so fully into. This has has also informed me when it comes to other "sucky" stuff that happens in my life. Just asking the question, "How is this the protection of the universe?" versus "How come everything bad always happens to me" can bring good things to mind instead of feeling like a victim all the time.
I can start each day with the thought that the universe is FOR ME—that great things are occurring or about to occur. It is not a coincidence that I am noticing the universe taking care of me more and more every day. Truth is—my world is FULL of people that are loving me and protecting me—giving me amazing gifts. I have never felt so cared for, so believed in, so deeply loved as I feel these days.
So here are my challenges to you:
- Look closely at the "sucky" stories of your life and ask yourself—what if I flipped that on it's head. Need some help with the wording on the flip—comment below and we'll come up with an opposite story.
- Try on perspective shifting. When you are looking at something as half-full, contemplate what the half-empty perspective would be—and try it on. Then do the opposite.
- Finally, try out a coach. My big story shift came during a coaching session with my coach. I can't imagine doing life without one.