Somebody told you a story. Perhaps just once. Perhaps several times. But stories have a way of taking root, especially in the impressionable and fertile mind of a child. Even well intentioned story tellers have no idea how that story could impact the life trajectory of that child.
Stick and stones. Yes, they can break bones. But names and labels have such a power to hurt you and your sense of who you are. More specifically, of who you think it is you are.
And who you think you are is perhaps the most important story you’ll ever tell yourself.
As a boy, I didn’t get into too much trouble. I was the third born, coming into this world six years after the second born. I was kind of left on my own, staying within the parameters that were set for me. On one occasion, though, my failing junior high school grades gave my Dad the opportunity to vehemently express his disappointment in me. Not in my grades. But in me, the person. His son. A new story was told, and stories have a way of taking root in the impressionable and fertile mind of a child. Especially when that story comes from your Dad.
And take root it did.
In hindsight, what Dad was trying to do was motivate me. A lifelong factory worker, he wanted me to live a different life than what he was living. His was a hard life, a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. Up early, grabbing as many extra hours as he could. He wanted more for me, and the harshness of his tactics was his way of trying to show me. I see that now, but the young version of me was far to emotionally immature to see that. Dad spoke. I had no reason not to believe him.
And take root it did.
Perhaps you, too, have had the opinions of others impact your perceptions of who you think you are? Maybe you’ve been told at some point in your life you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not beautiful enough, you’re too emotional, you’re a lot of work, you’ll never amount to anything?
The stories we tell ourself will define us. They shape our expectations, shape our actions, shape what we feel is or isn’t possible for ourself. These stories can cause us to abandon who it is we really are in order to live a life consistent with who it is we’ve been told we are. Because we will become who we think we are. We will build a world around those stories, a world in which we will regulate our levels of abundance, worthiness, and even our own perceived lovability. We will fill in life’s pieces accordingly, reinforcing the stories further. We will always attract just more of the same.
A different life requires a different story.
A story in which we embrace our truest self and never needing to abandon it.
When we embrace our authentic self, we will attract and create a world around us full of people and opportunities and relationships which will support our most authentic and purest self. That is the life we all were created to live.
We do get to decided which stories we accept as true.
Actually, we’ve been doing it all of our lives.
So why not embrace a story which supports the life we know we really want to live, the life we were created to live?
Uprooting an identity is hard work. But if you don’t start, you never will.
Your authentic self? It is still within you. It’s alway been there. It’s as beautiful as you’ve always known it to be. It just needs for you to tell yourself a different story.
The Voice of Authenticity is calling you.
Abandon your stories which no longer serve you, and you’ll never again have to abandon the most important person you will ever know.
Photo by Chela B. on Unsplash