are you addicted to your past?
How is 2013 treating you so far? Have you welcomed it willingly? Of course you’re excited about the new year because it can mean the beginning of a new and better ending for the story of you. A new you!
A new me. Yes! With each year it seems that I evolve as I gain more self-knowledge. The me of 2013 will definitely be different than the me of 2012. Today’s me can barely remember how the me of 2009 created such a painful narrative for me.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about why some people are better at creating change in their lives than others. Those that can’t seem to change their lives seem to be addicted to their past. Pasts in which they were hurt, pasts that shaped their choices and circumstances, pasts that they can never get back, but it is in those past stories where they are stuck and they can’t move forward.
People addicted to their past tell their “stories” often (and sometimes to everyone). They aren’t telling “stories” as in lying. They are telling stories as in sharing the story of what hurt them. We all do it sometimes. Who hasn’t told and retold the story of when their heart was broken, a loved one betrayed them or when they’ve let themselves down?
Just thinking about our stories can literally make our stomachs turn as the old pain tries to enter us again — especially this time of year when we are trying to give a new year our best.
If we are to create what we truly desire with the gift that living another year truly is then we have to be willing to let our stories go. I know how hard it is to give up our stories. I know better than many because this site started from my need to share my pain. In the process of sharing my stories I slowly let go of injury after injury. That is in fact the point of being social beings – to share our stories so that others learn from our mistakes, so that we feel less alone, so that we feel “normal” when others relate to us. We are a social animal that is also a storytelling animal.
You and I we are wired for story but we are also wired for learning!
We can chose to put those stories of hurt up on our shelves because we no longer have use for them. We can chose to create new stories by being willing every single day or sometimes every single hour to be the change we need.
I remember the day that my life really started to change. It was the day that I didn’t have my friend A.A. to listen to my misery anymore. A.A. and I had been friends for a few years. He came into my life right as the bottom was falling out and when I was reaching for what would save it, A.A. and I just stopped talking suddenly. It was one of those falling outs where you both just stopped talking, it hurts desperately but you know that it is better for both of you that way.
Within weeks of him not being there to listen to me talk about all the many things I intended to do about the hole in my soul I began to do those things. Instead of telling the stories about the past and how they were hurting me in my present I used each day I got to create that new ending I had always wanted.
Don’t know how long it would have taken me to start really doing what I needed if he would have stayed in my life listening to all my stories but I am so grateful that our friendship ended when it did. I miss my old friend and I wish that someday we can laugh about our old tired conversations in which we rehashed our painful stories.
So here’s my point…
Your stories, yes! they shaped the person you are today, yes! they absolutely matter, and yes! you can stop telling them and start living in this moment. This moment is so much more important than anything that could have happened to you.
Example: Today, I am still the woman that lost a daughter she had dreams for but I am also the mother of three amazing sons. If I allow myself to live in the story of that awful moment the pain makes me think about all the what ifs. Just typing this creates a huge knot in my heart leading me away from the joy that is the life I’ve created since. Today, I am the woman that was willing to go for a bike ride with her sons no matter how sad seeing her daughter’s urn made her feel as she was lacing up her sneakers.
Seriously, what if we could never forget those stories of pain but there was a magic trick we could perform to move forward? Would you do it?
Well there is a way you can move forward but you have to be willing. Are you willing? Here’s the trick you have to choose to act instead of telling your stories.
You can’t be the storyteller telling that same tale. You have to become the one acting as the hero in the story of you that you are writing right now.
Just remember that heroes usually have shaky starts, that their will is tested often and it is only with time and dedication that they finally master their superpowers and as soon as they do they have to learn how to do new tricks with them.
In the story of me I often still struggle. These days much less than in the past because I am willing to fight like never before for myself. I wake up each day and say aloud, “I am sex. I am love. I am joy. I am willing. I am still learning. All I have is today and that is all I need now.” I wake up say my mantra with the understanding that becoming the me that I want to be, is a tedious lifelong journey. This process has no deadline. This process is going to involve there being many different I’s along the way to better me’s.
If you are struggling with moving forward because the story of you has become so painful for you to live with, I hope that this post has helped you and that you feel a bit less lonely and “normal.” Let’s make 2013 great together!
Now I’d love to hear from you. What do you think?
Peace & power,