Rewrite Your Story
I remember her sitting on the couch, telling her story. My mom was listening, nodding her head and taking it in. This woman had a tough life and she recounted stories of abuse, of hurt, of neglect. My presence barely registered as she poured out her pain. Only a few, carefully chosen questions, that was all it took from mom. Like a skilled surgeon piercing infected skin, she used a question like a scalpel, surgically timed and designed to alleviate pain.
It’s funny how I can recall the room so clearly now: the curtains and wallpaper in the room, the sofas, the layout, the piano nestled in the corner. It’s all etched in my memory. Also etched in my memory is the story. It was different from others, sure, but in so many ways it was the same.
My family took people in; mostly people in trouble; people in need; people with histories, pain, and shame. Though we were not the wealthiest in the world, there was always room for one more at the table. Some came for a single meal while others would stay for years.
As I listened to the particulars of this woman’s story, I felt for her. You couldn’t help but be affected as you heard the details.
I learned some lessons:
- Pain can be used as a powerful force for good.
- We don’t have to keep re-reading that chapter.
- We can turn the page.
- We can welcome new characters, new narratives, and new opportunities.
- We can write the ending.
- We can create a story worth living, one that can inspire others.
You say, “Skip, I didn’t have that kind of life. I didn’t have abuse or pain. Life was normal.”
That’s great. But, like this woman, you may be holding onto the past. Most of us do in some way. We cling to something, unable to let it go or unconsciously carrying it around. Often that voice in our head is defining us.
“You can’t start that business. What do you know about doing that?”
“You think you’re a writer? You didn’t get very good grades in English.”
“Go back to school? Who are you kidding?”
“Lose weight? Uh-huh, sure you will.”
How often we let the limitations of the past ruin our future.
It’s time to let that all go. Write your goals in your journal. Dream about your future. That’s where it all starts – in your head. The battles in your mind are the most important. Win your thoughts. Write the ending. You have the opportunity to create a work of art for all of us to admire. What’s holding you back?
So what’s your story?