Do you ever feel like you got caught in the wake of someone else’s life story? Like you did all the things you were “supposed” to do, and yet you still want something more or are yearning to feel something special?
What if all you needed to find that something special, that something more, was to share some of your internal stories and experiences with the outside world? What if all you needed to write your next life chapter the way you wanted is to let out some of that hidden yuck so you can feel something extraordinary?
We are always telling stories. We tell them over the dinner table, on the phone, to our coworkers, and to our loved ones.
Most importantly, we tell ourselves stories, and those are the stories we often hide from everyone else. They are stories we have already created meaning around. Often, we fear that if we share those stories with the world, the world will reflect back what we already believe to be true about ourselves. This is usually something negative like we’re not smart enough, attractive enough, we’re lazy, or unlovable. So, we keep those stories inside, and in doing so, we hide big pieces of our true, authentic selves from the world. We spend so much energy hiding who we really are that we are left with less energy to fully engross in the things we truly value.
Even worse, we waste time worrying about not fitting into someone else’s values. We fear that if we do share our internal thoughts, stories, mistakes, or unconventional values, that we will be rejected, turned away from the pack, no longer belong, or receive love. So, we lock them inside or only share tiny bits that feel less bad.
But the stories exist, even if we’re the only one who knows what they are. When we are unwilling to share those stories, we are only getting one single perspective – our own. We’re biased to believe the bad stuff more than the good. We’re also wired to look for proof of our stories out in the world.
Carrying these stories and beliefs alone is hard. Shame is heavy. When we share our thoughts with someone who is ready, willing, and able to really listen, we no longer have to carry that shame alone. Just like anything heavy to carry, when we share the load with another person, it gets lighter and easier to hold.
We’re also able to separate ourselves from the story. Our narrative changes from “I am” to “I experienced”. We are not our experiences. We are how we chose to learn and grow from our experiences.
So, if you want to write your next life chapter with meaning, purpose, and authenticity, you must first be willing to examine some of your past experiences. But we can’t do this work alone. We need other people who can listen and reflect back a new meaning we hadn’t considered. That’s how we grow. That’s how we become who we’re yearning to be.
We cannot do life alone. We’re not supposed to do life alone. What a relief we don’t have to.