a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.
synonyms: account, chronicle, history, description, record, report, story
To understand how to re-write your narrative you must first understand what your narrative is. It's typically hard to do solo, is extremely painful and refreshing all at the same time. Our stories are particularly burned into our brains and have shaped the way we've interacted with the world from birth. Every time you experienced something growing up, your brain stored it away. As more and more things happen, you start to create a pattern or "story" around what these experiences mean. For example, you may remember discussing attachment styles in Psych101. These attachment styles are the start of our story. I won't go into them in too much detail, but for example:
As a child you cried and your parents showed up for you consistently. Throughout your childhood they continued to be a secure base in which you knew you had their full support in times of joy and crisis.
Of course barring any other happenings, that child would likely develop a secure attachment to their parents. This means that they'll likely give and receive love easily, have an ability to regulate their emotions and are resilient. They feel it's safe to explore the word and they can move through relationships with trust.
But what if that wasn't your experience?
In essence, this post isn't about educating you on your attachment style so we can all judge how messed up we are. It's to share how I have worked strenuously to re-write my story and I hope by shedding light on this topic, each of us can continue to explore and doubt our story as we are living it. Are we really who we think we are? Or are we a product of patterns that have convinced us we are something?
Here's what I have believe, still believe and am working on re-writing in my own life:
So what the hell do I do with all that?
Well, what I normally like to do is spiral into a million thoughts to convince myself why those thoughts are true. Then, when I'm weirdly proud of myself for proving myself right that those things are indeed my truths, I am almost immediately unhappy again because no one wants to prove themselves right that they are, indeed, broken.
The thing is, I'm not broken and neither are you. The statements I listed above aren't my true self. They are pieces of my self that I have been conditioned to believe.
Okay, but really. Now what?
I can't claim to have that answer. I do believe the only way to really re-write your life narrative is to get vulnerable. I throw this word around a lot and while it feels more like a buzz word sometimes, it truly is something important to explore. It's a way to put words to your experiences. The more you talk about them, explore them, cry about them, feel THROUGH them and wade through vulnerability, the more you are able to disempower shame.
When we disempower shame it no longer is a part of our story. It loses it's power to make you believe you are less than. We are able to truly identify what makes us tick and why. Then we can start to re-write our story. Will I never be enough in relationships? Or have my negative experiences in past relationships convinced me of this? Is physically connection really always violent and abusive? Or was I just physically connected to people who molded me to believe that?
So that's what I'm doing here. I'm asking these really awkward and scary questions and then talking about them here, with all of you. I can only hope as I unravel my own fear, I can encourage you to unravel yours, too.
My challenge to you is to make your list. What do you believe to be true about yourself? What do you think you do well? Where do you think your faults lie? Then begin to consider what experiences are attached to these beliefs. Start to peel back each layer of each experience. You'll begin to notice that the majority of these "faults" are nothing but fake backgrounds painted on your memories. These "faults" are trying to keep you complacent, angry, stagnant and afraid of finding your true self worth.
And if you are willing to take a chance to become more authentic, more connected and more YOU, I'd be honored to be a part of your journey.