Changing Your Story

I love hearing people’s stories. For whatever reason, people seem to open up to me – from the girl in the check-out lane to strangers in airports, I’ve come to accept this as part of my life - listening to people’s stories.  I can affirm fact is stranger than fiction. There is a beauty in the human condition as it shows its resilience.

We long for connection – with ourselves, with the world around us, with those we love.  As connection doesn’t happen, we begin to contrive a story to help make sense of it all. This story creates our grid for understanding. The story represents our reality, but not necessarily the truth.  

Last night I watched The Truman Show. I had forgotten how great that movie is. Truman’s heart longs for adventure and connection. As the movie progresses, you see him begin to wake up in several stages – it begins with an awakening of the heart. It begins with love – because love can change everything. There is a girl of course.  She is the one person in his story who chooses to love him. She sees his circumstance; she sees where he is and simply loves him. Their experience lasts only a brief moment, but it is never forgotten - for once you’ve experienced that kind of love you can never forget it. That love keeps the embers of his heart glowing and affirms that there is more- there must be more to life than what he sees and what he experiences each day that is set before him. He keeps that love tucked neatly away and pulls it out when he needs comfort and encouragement. The story of Truman is no different from your story or from mine.

In my family, there is a history of alcohol addiction. My mother took to this pattern and there were many rough days for me growing up. She and my father divorced when I was young and he wasn’t around all that much in the early years. There was a tendency on both sides not to talk about pain. 

You accept the reality which you are presented. In other words – you don’t know what you don’t know. I had accepted that people leave you and sometimes life isn’t safe and you’re better off doing it alone –that was my reality, my grid, my world. I made life choices and decisions based on that belief. And guess what happened? People left me; I was lonely and I didn’t feel safe. I only knew what I knew.

I reached a point in my life where my reality wasn’t working for me anymore. I needed to change my story. And since I was the main character, I knew that change had to begin with me.

I did  a lot of personal work. I found a good therapist, joined groups with those working through similar issues and began removing toxicity from my life one thorn at a time. The journey was hard – but also rewarding. I am still actively pursuing this journey today.

In life you have choices – you always have a choice. Free will is one of life’s greatest gifts.

Sometimes our enemy is not our real enemy – sometimes complacency is our real enemy.

Is it time to change your story? You can do it – and I encourage you to do so one choice at time.

Here’s to making it great.