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  • Kitty Edwards

The stories of our lives

We are story tellers.

For thousands of years our ancestors told stories to find meaning for their actions and their connections to the world around them. They created mythologies utilizing gods and goddesses, destroyers and nurturers, heroes and heroines to explain the unexplainable.

They understood that if you change your story, you will change your life.

We too are story tellers.

Our stories are based on our perception of the world, our emotional state, and our memories. Our reality is shaped by our stories.

We see, hear, touch, taste and smell the world. We then tell ourselves a story about the experience. To one person a rose is lovely because of its beauty and delicate aroma. To another a rose implies thorns and allergies. Will you stop to admire the rose garden or simply walk on by?

Your interpretation of your past experiences will dictate the actions you take.

Our perception of reality is our truth.

How we react to the change in our lives has a dramatic effect on our stories and the meaning that we find in life.

For the past two years we have all experienced loss – loss of health, loss of freedom, loss of security, loss of life.

We grieve for the loss of things that should have happened, but didn’t – graduations, weddings, gatherings with family, the opportunity to say goodbye.

We grieve for the things that could have happened, but didn’t – the partner you didn’t meet; the adventures you didn’t have.

We grieve for the pages of our story that were ripped out.

It's unlikely that we will achieve emotional closure or develop a clear understanding of all the losses we have experienced. Due to the pandemic, many of us have lost our relationship with ourselves and our stories.

It is not easy to shift our stories, but we need to in order to find the courage to become the hero in your own life.

3 Steps for Rewriting Your Story

1. Listen carefully to the stories you tell yourself. What are your limiting beliefs? Limiting beliefs are your opinions or convictions that you hold as truth and limit your ability to grow. “I am lazy.” “She won’t like me if I change.” We have held many of our limiting beliefs since childhood.

2. Investigate your spiritual and cognitive bypasses which are ideas or practices that allow you to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues. Do you meditate to stay calm instead of looking into the causes of your anxiety? Have you ever used affirmations or simplistic statements to avoid your pain or the pain of others?

3. Choose one of your stories and shift your perspective of it. Does the victim become a hero? Does the villain find redemption? Write down this new perspective. Read it to yourself each morning for one week.

Once you have experienced the shift of your energies as a consequence of the shift in your stories, you will have developed a powerful tool as you confront new losses and once again step onto the labyrinth of grief.

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