Like it or not, we all have a story to tell. Sometimes it starts with trauma in our youth, for others, it could be a major event that changed the trajectory of their life.
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself. It will be a permanent Self, rooted in awareness and creativity. Once you have captured this, you have captured the world.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Sharing our story allows us to own it. When we own it, it loses power and we can let go of the parts that hurt us.
Sharing our stories allows us to connect with others that may have suffered from something similar. You'll find you aren't alone in your journey of self-healing. There is always power in numbers.
Sharing our story puts us in a vulnerable situation, that in most circumstances, allows people to understand us and rally around us. Giving us an internal and external strength we may not have known existed before.
Many of us have layers to our stories. Something that we lived through in our youth will contribute to how we interact with the world going forward. We make choices and put ourselves in situations that may not be best for us because it is familiar and what we know how to deal with.
The start of my story:
As an adult child of two alcoholic parents, the likelihood that I would become a heavy drinker myself was high. I went the opposite direction and barely drink. But don't believe for a second that I came out unscathed. I think I thought I did for the most part for a large part of my life...until it all came crashing down and I was forced to deal with the damage that was done.
On the outside, I looked like I had it all together. I'd had a good career in the hospitality industry, and started a couple of small businesses that served me well. I worked for myself in a home office. I had a nice house, a house full of fur babies to keep me company when my husband was at work. I'd married a high school boyfriend who I reconnected with on Facebook many years later. We had money to do some traveling. A fairytale, right?
Let's examine what was really going on...
I couldn't feel joy in my own right. I had to experience it through other people's eyes. Feeling in general was not really on the table. Feeling when you grow up in chaos is a scary proposition. It's much better to shove it all down, even the good times.
I must control everything! Vacations were planned to every minute. Change to plans would disrupt my entire being. Going with the flow wasn't an option. I had to be in control of everything that could interfere with my life. Good luck with that!
I set high expectations of people without telling them what I needed. I did this so I could be let down, because everyone lets you down, right? That's what my parents taught me. My husband let me down, my friends let me down, and the people that I worked with let me down. My parents always let me down. Whether it was missing my birthday, not doing something they promised they would, giving away my dog without telling me first, or just simply never being present for me...I learned that you really can't count on anyone else but yourself, yet I kept setting myself up for disappointment.
I was codependent. I was much too reliant on my husband and weary of doing things by myself. I always took on the caregiver role, even though I hate it. I made excuses for other people. I let people get away with things that went against my core being. I let myself go in order to put everyone else first.
I was afraid to make strong connections with people. Everyone in my circle had to be fiercely independent because I was stretched too thin to have anyone else rely on me. And I had to hold people at a distance so they didn't know the depth of what was going on with me. I made this realization when I thought about the fact that no one ever came over just to hang out and I never went to anyone's home just to be with them. We always had to be doing something.
All of this has had a huge impact on my health. I've lived at a heightened stress level for most of my life. Which, has caused me to have an autoimmune disorder, I'm overweight and struggle to lose even a pound. I realized that if I didn't make some changes I was headed to an early grave.
My life is in transition...
Self-care is a priority! I walk, do yoga, and bounce on a mini-trampoline. I have a regular meditation practice. I make sure to eat fruits and vegetables, limit meat, and anything from a package. I read enlightening and educational books. I listen to podcasts that regularly give me "a-ha" moments. I make time for friends. I have a therapist, though I'm ready for something or someone else. I trade services with another coach.
I'm learning to let go of the past and be okay in my own skin. I strive for peace daily. I avoid chaos. I won't engage in conversations or activities that go against who I am and what I value. I try not to have expectations or at least lower them considerably. I don't try to control every situation. I still get inklings, but just push them away and accept what may come.
I want to build a community for myself of like-minded people that are in growth mode, where we can support each other's wins and loses, promote each other's businesses and learn from each other. I want to live in my purpose of helping people become the best versions of themselves. I want to learn how to experience joy on a regular basis.
The Buddha sums it all up nicely:
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection."
I'd love to hear your story. Let me know if any of this is relatable to you.