You Have Quite the Story


You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change, rather than allowing it to master you.  ~Brian Tracy

When we commit to “telling our stories,” not all of the details are pleasant.  So, I might find myself holding back from the telling, because of a belief that sounds something like this:

“If I share the unpleasant things that happen or have happened in life, then I am ‘being a downer,’ ‘concentrating on the negatives,’ or worst yet…’living in the past.'”

These tapes that seem to run through my head on auto-play are NOT my words, but they are the words of others who have been uncomfortable with disclosure, reflection and honesty.

But on some level, I have taken that bait…hook, line and sinker. I have allowed others to decide for me how to best live my life.

When I act upon this belief,  it can prevent  me from saying things that I need to say.  It limits my growth. It quiets my voice.  It imprisons my genuineness. But ultimately, it was my decision to act.

I am responsible for my decisions.

And I will act responsibly when I share what needs to be said.

* * * * * * * *

Recently I was told, “You have quite the story to tell!”

I usually cringe and think, “Oh, you have NO idea!”

Today, I owned it. Totally. Owned. It.

“Thank you.  Yes, I do.”

I know that in telling my story, I can be genuine and purposeful in sharing my life’s lessons, events and experience in a way that honors my particular, unique journey.  I am mature enough not to wallow in the muck and mire of  “woe-is-me.”

I share my stories with a distinct purpose of building connection with others,  who often fear that if others knew what the struggles REALLY were, they would abandoned or rejected.  After all, that is also my fear.  I “get” it.

But I’m a risk taker.

Perhaps,  there is also a small part of me that likes the shock value of it all.

On one hand, I will put it all out there to get it out on the table early, just in case someone does leave.  Then I haven’t invested too much time.

On the flip side, I’m learning that when I do share genuinely, others see me as this courageous, inspiring soul who will “tell it like it is,” and who is fearless.  And they “connect” with me, willing to share their stories with me.

Little do they know that I struggle with the same garbage that they do.

So, what makes any of us different from the other?

There isn’t really much difference at all.

We all have incredible difficulties in life to deal with.  Each of us has been “dumped” on from time-to-time.  And we all have our extremely challenging situations.

The difference is that some people spend an inordinate amount of time feeling defeated, whining at every twist and turn, until the only option is to give up.

Others take on the challenges and learn to live with the bumps and bruises along the way.

Our battles are different, but the war is the same.  The war is called, “Life.”  And the key to thriving in life…

…attitude.

Yes, I do have quite the story to tell.  But I want to hear yours, too.

Me, first?

Okay…if you insist!

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5 thoughts on “You Have Quite the Story

  1. Judy Veron

    My favorite quote is in large print on my office door. When a friend dying of lung cancer shared this with me it made such an impact on me that I decided I needed to put it on my door. That was 8 years ago. Going in and out of that door many times a day I became complacent to it.

    Fast forward 4 years ago when I myself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having done the bilateral mastectomy, chemo and radiation treatments while working I passed through that same door again and again many times a day.

    One day I stopped in my tracks and read it again…I thought it so profound when it was first shared with me and now going through my own journey it became what I was living without even realizing it. I made many copies of this quote and passed them out to all my co-workers hoping to have the effect on them, what it had on me.

    “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington

    The fact that all of us regardless of our circumstances are directly responsible for the footprints we leave in the sand and the impact we have on those around us is a lesson we need to learn early in our lives and pass on to others. Whether we do this in actions or words it’s whatever works for us.

    I enjoy you sharing your insight to life and have taken lessons from you…TRUST 101 to name just one example. Please keep the writing flowing as many of us are waiting for your next entry.

    1. Thank you, Judy, for sharing your words. We never know when a simple act or a few words will have a profound impact on another. That, too, can be for good or bad. I’m glad to have lived enough life to understand the difference! Thank you for reading/commenting.

  2. Judy Veron

    We not only affect others around us but how WE “handle” things, even just everyday moments, WE control the outcomes for OURSELVES!

  3. Mick

    If I write to open a window into myself, my most important reader, in a sense, is myself. I have left 99 versions of it in the waste paper basket, and have declared the surviving text to be authentically the best that language can do for me, about me.

    But what if that were met with indifference? Would that matter to me? I think it would matter. Indifference would be the hardest word. Cast a cold eye, on life, on death. Horseman, pass by !

    I’m in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and I can’t find coffee :). Does it show? ARRRGGGHHH.

    1. Mick…Thank you for sharing this comment. I, especially, like “If I write to open a window into myself, my most important reader…is myself.” It truly is about being willing to take a looking at the “man in the mirror” and to be brutally honest with oneself, in a manner. We own the language. We own the authenticity. We own the result of doing so, even when met with that indifference. What we must realize, however, is that we have no control over what the reader (or anyone else, for that matter) thinks. We only have influence. … I would have to agree, however; indifference is brutal to me. Love me or hate me. But indifference….that’s my arrggghhh!!! 😉

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