I have discovered the key to happiness…well maybe a step to it! The story we tell of who we are and why we are has a powerful impact on how we feel. If our story paints us as a victim of circumstance we can feel victimised, powerless and despondent, without hope. The story of being a carer can bring about feelings of guilt, submissiveness and the feelings associated with being trapped. If our story is one of failure, we can become so overwhelmed with this identity that we wear it as a cloak to protect us, and create major blocks in experiencing the pleasure of success.
Be aware of the story you are telling, about yourself, your relationships, your worth. The story you tell is what others believe and expect. It’s what you believe and expect. It limits your possibilities! It limits your ability to Live!
To change your story I have found that you need to recognise what story is being told. When you tell the story what feelings are expressed to you? What do you feel about the story? Are you using the story to maintain a particular stance or feeling? Really be aware.
Next is there another way to tell the story. Explore the different possible attitudes you could have when telling the story. For example as a Carer I could express the limitations in my life and how I am trapped and had to give up so much of my life to carry out this role. Alternatively I could speak of the honor I have in being there for the person I am caring and speak of how supportive I enjoy being, how grateful I am that my husband is still able to support the family and how the situation is changing. The story you tell has a lot of power.
There is yet another step that can catch you out when changing your story. There may be guilt, shame and fear that you created such a negative story that created so much harm. Forgiving yourself for creating, telling, believing and living the story is a really powerful way to re-create the story.
I experienced this the other day when someone asked me about my children. Instead of focusing on my child anxiety and depression, I was able to express my delight and pride in my two beautiful, loving and smart young men; and geez I felt great. It was the first time that I had changed the story. The facts were still there, and as the conversation deepened they were revealed, but the limitations are no longer my whole story. Who they are and my wonderful relationship with them is now my story.