THE CURIOUS PARADOX IS THAT WHEN I ACCEPT MYSELF JUST AS I AM, THEN I CHANGE.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the stories that we tell ourselves. And their incredible power to shape all we experience in our lives.
Because so much of what we think we know about ourselves is really just a story that has been passed on to us by others.
When we are young we look to our parents and caregivers to mirror back to us what is true. So that we can learn who we are.
If in response to our cries for attention, we get plenty of care, compassion and understanding, then we understand we are worthy and lovable. But if we are given the message that we are too much or not enough, then this is what we internalise as true about ourselves.
And these simple, yet profound, messages are communicated to us right through our lives.
Your parents had a part to play. But so did your teachers, other family members and the wider culture.
We’ve absorbed stories about our culture, our gender, our sexuality and about the kind of behaviour that gets approval…or disapproval.
None of us escaped the understanding that there are parts of us that others don’t find acceptable. So it’s best to keep them hidden.
Very early on, we begin to internalise these seemingly ‘true’ stories, about:
- whether we are valued just as we are, or need to change or pretend in some way to be loved
- whether we belong here and are safe
- whether what we have to offer is something that the world wants
And, of course, we inherit stories. The often unspoken stories that have been passed down through our family line from generations past. Fears and beliefs that live inside us, though we can’t quite figure out why.
By the time we reach adulthood, we hold deeply entrenched narratives about who we are, how the world works and what is expected of us.
These stories influence how much goodness we think we are allowed to have: what kind of job, partner or level of happiness is possible for us.
It never occurs to us to question if they are, in fact, true!
But then something happens…
A shocking experience of change that jolts us out of our reverie. That makes us question everything we have been handed as Truth.
My own personal upheavals have been sparked by:
- the breakdown of my parents’ marriage
- chronic illness and multiple surgeries
- pregnancy and new motherhood
- starting a business (one which is not really accepted by the mainstream!)
These were the experiences that led to some dramatic breakdowns in my life…and breakthroughs! To understand what was happening, I had to go deep inside and question everything I had thought was real and true. To find who I really am underneath all the mess I had been handed.
For you, your breakthrough moments might be similar or completely different. But they will share the same need to question everything you knew to be true, in order to rise from the ashes, wiser and stronger.
And that is the beauty of these times of huge change in our lives. These periods of falling apart can be so incredibly painful and confusing…yet ultimately so valuable! If we allow them to be.
Because in order to enter a new phase of life, we have to ditch old beliefs that no longer serve us. Old beliefs that were probably never really true about us in the first place!
So when we go through a break-up, all those old stories of whether we are lovable or not will come roaring up. And we will have to tend to those parts of us that are hurting in order to find our own worthiness.
When our parents separate, we are forced to question what was real about our family and what values were handed to us that we don’t now agree with.
When we have a child, we come face-to-face with the way we were parented ourselves and get to heal our own wounds and choose what values we want to either let go of or pass on to our own families.
And when we start our own business – well, that’s one of the greatest growth opportunities of all. Especially if it involves putting ourselves out there as exactly who we are and asking for money in return! Many, many family and cultural stories about money, worth and approval will have to be faced and healed.
YOU MUST LEARN A NEW WAY TO THINK BEFORE YOU CAN MASTER A NEW WAY TO BE.
Part of the job in healing is to get to the bottom of the beliefs we have about ourselves and the world.
Find out what they are and how they got there. And then release the hold they have on us. So that we can welcome in a truer story. One that supports us in being who we really are.
It takes time…and lots of compassion.
Times of change and transition can be incredible turning points in our lives. If we use them right. If we allow them to shake us out of our old conditioning and instead help us to mend the parts of us we had been hiding and in fear of.
The parts of you that you learned to hide are the key to your fulfillment and freedom in life. But before you get there, you’ll have to feel your feelings and change your stories.
But when you learn to accept and appreciate yourself as exactly who you are – even the darkest parts – then deeply contented life is possible.
A new story can be told.
P.S. If you would like support in healing old wounds and beliefs that might be holding you back, then a one-to-one healing session with me, either in person, or online could be just the thing