What’s Your Story

Today’s Martha Beck Daily Inspiration arrived this morning and fully resonated with me:

“The past doesn’t exist except as a memory, a mental story, and though past events aren’t changeable, your stories about them are. You can act now to transform the way you tell the story of your past, ultimately making it a stalwart protector of your future.”

For the past few weeks, I’ve said repeatedly, “I wouldn’t change anything about the past year.”

Among the reactions I’ve received: confusion, a dumbfounded stare; a quick response of “WHAT?!?!”

The past year contained a couple cataclysmic events – my father had a near death health crisis and I relocated him from Key West, FL to Ohio on my own. Initially, he required 24 hour care, but after 2 more moves, a lot of love and an outpouring of positive energy, he has improved tremendously. Shortly after relocating my father to Ohio, my 22 year marriage began to dissolve. In March of this year, the dissolution was finalized.

To say the least, it was a crazy year. However, the experiences I’ve lived through during that crazy year were part of my soul’s journey. Truly, I wouldn’t have changed a thing and quite frankly, I’m blessed to tell my story.

Now, my story could sound something like this:
“I exhausted myself traveling over 2500 miles last summer, I had to sit for days on end in the hospital and had no idea what I was doing or how to navigate the health care system while no one but me cared about my Dad’s recovery. I finally arrived home only to find that no one cares about me either.”

Here’s the way I tell my story:
“Last summer, I had the privilege of caring for my father the very way in which he cared for me my entire existence. Each day we savored the small victories of speaking, eating, standing, walking and reasoning. Though I had never experienced anything like this before, I learned how to navigate and built relationships with people who could help us. I was able to relocate him safely to Ohio where he now lives less than 20 minutes from me. Instead of seeing him 2 or 3 times a year, I get to see him every day! Though my marriage ended, I treasure it for what it was and know that it was a part of my growth and development. I’ve decided to live my life as my highest and best self and have never been more comfortable in being who I am and living my truth.”

What about “No one cares about me either”?
To reiterate Martha’s words, “The past doesn’t exist except as a memory, a mental story, and though past events aren’t changeable, your stories about them are.”

Did I ever feel like no one cared? Maybe…but I could never be 100% certain that statement is true; in fact, ‘No one cares’ is a storyline. We tell ourselves a story and stay trapped in a limiting belief that is a lie.

When you find yourself trapped in a storyline that you don’t like, CHANGE IT. How we tell our story is our choice. Here are some ways we can change our story:

  • Ask yourself if your storyline is absolutely true. If you are not 100% certain, why do you believe it?
  • If you could rewrite the rest of the storyline tomorrow, how would it be different? Rewrite it!
  • If your story contains an “everyone”, a “no one” or “they”, write a list of who those people actually are (and then, in a separate column, write the names of people who don’t fit in those groupings).
  • If your story has the words, “should”, “can’t” or “won’t”, take caution. These words insinuate you do not have a choice.
  • Imagine your life as a movie. Are the scenes you are replaying hard to watch? How do they make you feel? What emotion is present when you watch? If there is any negativity, anger or fear, I invite you to watch a different movie.

We all have a journey to travel in life – there is no denying or escaping it. We can’t argue with reality and can’t deny the past; the key is in how we think about it and how we articulate our stories of the past. If you can change the way you tell the story of your past, just imagine the opportunities you have to script the rest of your story.

Julie Cline is a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Reiki Practitioner, and Speaker whose goal is to encourage, guide, support and help heal individuals who want to change their story but have difficulty taking the necessary steps. If you are ready to change your story and find confidence to reclaim your life, contact Julie today and apply for a Heart to Heart session.

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