We’ve all got a story.
We’ve all got something, or many things that have happened to us that messed us up.
We’ve got people to blame and circumstances to re-hash and plot lines that we keep living over and over again.
We’ve got crap that wasn’t ours to carry piled high on our fragile shoulders and we’ve got boundaries that we passively laid that were trampled on repeatedly.
But, tell me…what book do you dive into and read one chapter repeatedly? None.
You read books front to back, one chapter after another, so that you can find out what the outcome is. You don’t get stuck on one chapter – You would never hear the happy ending or figure out the mystery.
You don’t read one chapter in one book over and over again, so why are you designing your life this way?
Don’t get me wrong, the story you are stuck on is important. Immensely important. Because, the story is what brought you to this chapter you are in today.
But my question to you is are you living life stuck in this one chapter or are you living like a Choose Your Own Adventure book? Are you building what you want out of your own story, even if some of the previous chapters are scary and shitty and desperate and sad and abusive and deflating?
I have spent most of my adult professional life working in the advocacy field, for victims of domestic and sexual violence. I adore that field and all of the people in it. I think advocacy is some of the most noble work being done in our world.
The foundation of advocacy is to give people a safe space to share their story, their most hellacious chapters, and to have every bit of it believed.
The ability to be authentic and safe and heard and believed is the very core of advocacy.
I firmly believe if we offered this to everyone in our personal life, everywhere we go, we would heal the world – but that’s an entirely different blog entry for another day.
The core of advocacy is one thing, the magic of advocacy is the re-building aspect. Safe housing, support for children, legal support, food and clothing, job training, transportation, etc.
The magic is in moving on to the next chapter with skills that were acquired from the toughest chapter. It doesn’t always work like this for everyone, but it sure is the intended goal.
Let your intended goal be to utilize the backstory to write the rest of your chapters the way you want them to be written.
Realize that if you survived that shit storm, then you have absolutely everything you need to succeed and thrive in whatever comes your way because it’s never going to be as bad as what you’ve already endured.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy or that you’ll never stumble along the way. I’m not saying you won’t repeat certain situations as a means of checking in with your real desire for change.
True and lasting healing is almost always cyclical.
What I am saying is that you’ve lived what you needed to live up till now. If you are authentic in your next chapter, you will bring who and what you need into your life to write and exceptional life story.
Imagine that, a story worth talking about.
A story worth getting stuck on because the upcoming chapters are so amazing, they set an example for those around you who are stuck in their crappiest chapter.
Our most challenging chapters are our least interesting. Trust me.
Some of the most interesting, inspiring and coolest people I know have suffered unimaginable tragedy.
What makes them interesting and inspiring is what they chose after the tragedy.
Their devotion to discovering who they are now and their desire to be as weird as they need to be to feel whole makes them interesting.
They are unapologetic in the rebuilding of their lives. Brick by brick. Unique to their personality and experience. That’s what makes them cool.
They set an example for everyone around them by choosing to be weird and intentional and focused and raw. That’s what makes them inspirational. That’s why they are changing the world for the better.
Think of the last book you read or movie you watched.
What stuck with you?
The tragedy, or the triumph?
Both elements were written into the plot but only one really lit you up as the observer.
Now, pull that realization into your own unfolding chapters.
It starts with a choice.
Once you’ve decided that you are moving on in your story and creating the next chapter intentionally, you lead the way for others hoping to do the same thing, just by being you.
How cool is that?! You decide to take the wheel, you give others the ability to choose the same thing.
That’s what I’m talking about!
So, what chapter are you stuck in?
Let’s hear it. Let’s hash it out.
You will be heard.
You will be believed.
You are safe to tell me about your tragedy.
And then, I will kick your ass into gear toward a life driven by vision and desire and insanely profound authenticity.
You owe it to yourself to move on.
It’s your life story.
Choose to be the author.