Once Upon A Time…

November 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

Flickr credit: Pascal

Have you ever listened to the stories you’re telling yourself? Sure you have. They replay in our minds all the time. Stories about the kind of people we are, what our lives are like, where we’ve been and who we are striving to become. We tell ourselves stories about the world around us, what our friends, teammates, coworkers and others are like, or what parts of the world are going through. It’s how we gain perspective, how we make sense of things and how we build a foundation to move forward with.

Stories are such an incredible part of how we build meaning and connection in our lives. And yet, when these stories run unchecked, when we don’t say them out loud and share them with someone, they have the potential to become dangerous truths we embed in our hearts.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about a skewed story I made up about myself and where I’ve come from in the last decade.  I’m thankful for the support network I’ve built and the skills I’ve been honing to unravel limiting beliefs. They’ve helped me identify the story and come full circle.

After I settled back into the picture of coming from a family that wanted me, I began recalling so many good memories. I remembered when my mom spent hours sewing and making my princess costume just right for Halloween when I was a young girl. I remembered tagging along with my dad and hanging out on a red stool at the Skylark Café in Millet. I was pretty little, but it was one of my favourite things to do with him. And then there were all of the trips my grandparents would make to come out and visit us. I was always tickled pink when they made it down for one of my skating recitals. My parents drove my brother and I to and from our various activities… plenty of hockey games and tournaments for him. Dance lessons, skating competitions and tests, rugby games and piano lessons for me. The hours they invested in nurturing our talents and doing their best to provide as much as they could for us… when did I let myself forget about all of that?

If I had known then what I know now, I would’ve spent a whole lot more time talking about the feelings and thoughts happening beneath my surface. I would’ve installed a few checks and balances to guide me in the right direction and tell me when I’d fallen well of course. The good news is, I’ve got those checks and balances now. A carefully curated group of individuals I can bounce my story off of and see if it rings true from their perspectives. It’s like using my own sonar to create my images, sending out pulses and seeing what bounces back. Often, it’s a much different picture than the one I painted for myself.

Whatever story it is you’re telling yourself, I encourage you to run it by a few people before deciding it’s something you’re going to stick with. Whether it’s in evaluating a situation you think will help you, something that builds you up, or attempting to assess the challenges standing in your path, often an outside perspective can help identify the holes in what you’re weaving. It may take a bit of time to go through the prep, but ultimately, you’ll be able to move forward better equipped to navigate successfully to your next destination.

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