Is it time to let go of the story you hold on to?
You’ve experienced many things so far in your life.
The same things that several billion other human beings have experienced. We all had a childhood. We all had parents (in whatever form that takes in your life.)
Each person is unique. They take in different types of information. They focuson different things, they interpret in different ways, and they make decisionsdifferently.
Ones’ childhood is open to multiple interpretations because of this process.
I refer to the unique interpretation and explanation of your life so far as your story.
We carry it with us 24/7 and it comes out in our speech, our behaviour and the future we create for ourselves. And us mamas definitely have our stories. Think of your birth story, for example. Is it one of struggle? Grattitude? Victory? Sadness? Happiness? What flows through your story?
We can’t help it.
Or can we?
Here’s the key point: As we write the books of our lives, we keep creating and choosing opportunities that fit with our story so far. We also filter everything through that story. That’s why I want you to look at what your story is. If it works for you, keep it. If it is not serving you, it’s time to let go and start writing a new one.
In this post I want to give you more awareness of your story and help you with ways to begin writing new chapters.
Right now, reading this in adulthood, you’ve got a pretty good story going. A large tome with multiple chapters, but an underlying theme. It is just like like when an author writes a book. An author needs to keep with the flow of the book and it is infused with their style. Even the new chapters fall “into the theme” and the “style” of the story so far.
We do this!
Over and over again, we create possibilities, choose options that are in line with the flow of our book. We line up with our story so far. And we share our story through our words and actions. We also interpret everything through the filter we have created.
We decide what this life means. Life is complicated, but we’ve sort of already authored a manual.
For example: We decide what it means when our son or daughter cries. What it means when we accomplish a challenge. When we decide to try a new recipe. And for each person, there is a different interpretation based on their book.
Ever Noticed Other Peoples’ Stories? They are VERY Attached.
I love studying people. You don’t have to be a professional ontological coach to get a feel for what someone’s story is. And you begin to realize people are quite attached to their stories.
Here is an example of a story.
Let’s say a culmination of many small events causes a person experiences in early life to experience strong emotions of fear, unpredictability and vulnerability. Their survival instinct causes them to protect themselves and be extremelycautious.
The first chapter of their book set up this theme. As they grow, and learn, their brain is particularly sensitive anything involving fear, unpredictability and vulnerability because it’s been a big part of their story. They can’t help it. Every time something happens in their life that triggers these emotions, they get recorded in their story. By the time somebody with this story reaches adulthood, they have chapters and chapters of their book written and recorded.
If you have a conversation with someone who has a strong story of fear, you will notice that story coming out through their words and actions. They focus on conversation topics, ideas and events involving those emotions. They filter and speak through that lens: “People will take advantage of you. People are not good. Fear things. Protect yourself against others. Don’t trust. Be cautious. Fear change. Take the secure route. Focus on family. Get a stable job. Don’t rock the boat.”
Their Story is Important. There is No Right or Wrong Story.
Sometimes I get frustrated at the above types’ lack of trust of people. Their tendency to discuss the negativity in the world, their interest in the latest business scams, their warnings when we go travel to protect ourselves from this or that. I can’t help but roll my eyes sometimes because I just can’t understand it.
But I must understand this is their story, this is what they’ve written and this is how they are continuing to write their chapters.
How to Handle a Person’s Attachment to Their Story:
Taking the time to observe and understand someone’s story creates empathy and reduces frustration. It will give you the power to respectfully say “I do not have the same perspective or background. I do not look at things the same way. My life shaped me a bit differently. I respect your opinion but I will choose my own.”
Understanding that everybody walks around with a different book under their arms also releases you from the power of others’ assessments and judgements. Now you know that they are simply pulling their own book off of the shelf and referring to chapter x from their book.
Remember that We Are the Authors of Our Own Book
You hear gurus, coaches, influencers, leaders talk all of the time about working on your mindset, shaping success mindsets. ALL of them. Every single one speaks to the idea that we author, and continue to curate our stories. There’s a reason they do this: Like me, they walk in the world of development and growth. They know, as do I that you CAN write a new book, and begin adding new chapters that will shift your story.
Practice Observing OTHER Things That Typically do not Make it Through your Filter.
This is when you hear leaders talk about grattitude lists or journals. On the Great Maternity Leave I share a post discussing how I use Instagram to implement “positivity” filters while I am on materity leave. Do share with a new mama if you think she would benefit.
Here’s a typical story. I am always late. What if you started noticing every single time you are on time. Or how early you are for a few things? How you are aware of time? What if you just let go of that story and that attachment? What if you started saying you are on time for things. What if you highlight that and talk about that to other people?
It’s hard. You’ll notice it’s hard because your filter is so strong. Which is precisely why you need to work on it. If it sucks, do more of it.
Realize How Powerful Your Speech Is.
Nobody actually knows your story because the book is sitting inside your mind, or perhaps you carry it under your arm. That is, until we SPEAK. That is when we literally pull our book out, turn to a chapter and share.
Language is generative. Did you know that when we speak, we are creating our future and our reality? Think about it.
“Let’s go for coffee next Tuesday” does not exist when we think it. It becomes realwhen we say it. Make sense? 6 words out of my mouth have just shaped my future – specifically what my day is going to be like next Tuesday.
When we Choose to Speak, we are Officially Reading our Book out Loud.
What story do you want to share with your listeners? If you want to start writing chapters in a new style, read the original chapters in a new style, a new interpretation. (Even the words of the bible have been interpreted in a multitude of ways.) Read it in a new voice.
(As I write this, I can’t help but think about reading books to my two year old. When I’m blah and disengaged I just read the text blandly, wanting to get through to the end of the book. When I’m happy and engaged, I read the text in all sorts of fun and ridiculous voices that shift the entire experience and story.)
Give this article a good think. Reread a few times to let it sink in, because this is a heavy post.
Then, tell me about a story you have written. I am dying to know. What is the general “theme of your book?” Are you re-writing at the moment? How did you let go of being so attached to your story? Do you know someone who is super attached? What is it like?
How has your book influenced your own decisions and opportunities in your lif