The Stories We Tell

I have a friend. Often we talk about things together, as friends do. Every so often my friend tells me the same story.

It goes like this...

Part I: My life is great.
Part II: Sucky event outside of my control happened.
Part III: My life is no longer great but here I am. 
Part IV: There is no Part IV because I'm stuck in Part III and have been for quite some time and there's no signs of Part IV ever happening because I won't do the work to get to Part IV.

I'm not judging my friend. Because I've been in Part III for extended periods of time myself. Let me list off a few sucky things outside of my control that I've had to work through just in the past 2 years.

Sucky Event A: cancelling a 6 month trip to Europe with my family due to my son being sick & no one knowing what it was.
Sucky Event B: discovering not 1, but 2 of my kids have Cystic Fibrosis.
Sucky Event C: the unexpected death of my wife's twin brother setting off a series of related events that almost cost me my marriage (some of that stuff was within my control, fyi, but still really sucky).

Looking back, I could've stayed stuck telling some really really terrible stories about my life. But I realized I had a choice, not in what happened, but a choice in how I react to Sucky Events A-whatever. 

I realized I am starring in the movie that is my life. Except I'm not at the mercy of some depressed writer or ego maniacal director (although an argument could be made that our brains are super poopy at times). I'm in charge of choosing the direction I want my story to go in. I do this with how I choose to react to the Sucky Events of my life. I can't change those events, but I always have a choice in how I respond.

Maybe you have that friend who doesn't see how the negative stories they play out in their head affects their life in not good ways. Maybe you fall into the negative life story telling trap. I'm not judging or shaming you if you are. Because I've been there. I have. This isn't to say, just suck it up and move on. Because grief is a terrible, unexplainable thing to have to go through. And life can be downright brutal at times.

I'm asking you to do some inner work. Listen to how you replay your life in your head. If you feel like being sad, be sad. If you feel like being angry, be angry. If you feel like you can't even muster up the energy to get dressed today, stay in bed. Those feelings are normal. Those feelings are human. Those feelings are ok.

The truth is, all emotions pass. It would be amazing to feel overflowing JOY every moment of every day, but that's not how life works (at least it doesn't work that way for me). It would be amazing to not ever feel sadness or pain, but that's not how life works. Emotions come and go. Life ebbs & flows.

Sit with your emotions. Sit with your stories. Ask yourself if they're serving you in a way that feels good. If the answer is yes, keep going in that direction. If the answer is no, find something small that is in your power that can pivot you into the direction that would feel good.

I have a message for you...

You're not stuck.
You are so much stronger than you think.

You are so much more courageous than you give yourself credit for.
You are a powerful world changer.
We need YOU here.
Don't close up. 
Stay open.
We need the LOVE you carry inside to shine so bright in all the dark places of the world.
This world is a much better place with you here.

The stories we tell ourselves matter & affect so much of our lives. What stories can you change about yourself? What can you do to show the world your loving, full, joyful, open self? 


Josh Solar

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