We are all storytellers.
Every day in little ways we each tell the stories of our lives. We tell them to others. Sometimes we write them down. Mostly, we repeatedly tell them to ourselves.
And how we tell them makes a HUGE difference in how we see ourselves.
We decide which stories get told over and over again. The more we tell them, the more important they become in the canon of who we are.
We decide how we tell them. The tone of our stories becomes the tone and direction of our lives.
Which stories will you choose to tell?
So many amazing things have happened in my life. There have been incredibly hard things too. Which stories do I focus on? Which stories receive my time and attention?
Do you know one of those people who is always ready with a tale of disaster and heartache?
“How was your day?” you ask.
She rolls her eyes and settles into a long and tragic story about how it’s been the worst day of her life and everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. She does this every time you speak to her.
I know other people who always seem in a great mood. When I ask them what they’ve been up to, they usually tell me about some success or joyful experience. They are genuinely happy and, in contrast to the first type of person, it seems that their lives are overflowing with Awesome.
Is the second friend just luckier than the first friend? Does she just live a charmed life? I don’t think so. I know we all have a broad range of experiences and some weeks are harder than others. Some lives are harder than others. But in many cases, our lives are as happy as we decide they will be.
When we choose to spend the majority of our time telling uplifting stories or simply finding the uplift in our difficult stories, we and everyone around us will be inspired.
How will you tell your story?
When I look back at my experiences with postpartum anxiety and depression, I can see myself as a victim, or a loser, or a hero who overcame something awful and used the experience to make positive changes in my life.
My view of this has changed over the years. Today I choose to think of myself as going through something earth-shattering and then being miraculously preserved so I could emerge stronger and kinder than I was before.
If that’s my story, then it informs everything I do. I’m on a hero’s journey. If I see myself as a victim, that will inform everything I do as well.
I internalize that story. I tell it. I refine it. I become it.
If your life is a Bucket, you decide what you will fill it with. I’m aiming to have a Bucket of Awesome.
How can I fill my Bucket of Awesome?
Over the coming weeks and months, I want us to do an experiment together. On Saturdays I will post a journal prompt. As we work through these prompts, we will choose what stories to tell and how to tell them.
We can change our lives by how we tell our stories. Journal along with me as I excavate my past for the joy, the goodness, the Awesome. When we’re done, we’ll have a whole Bucket of Awesome, a story to inspire the people we love, and a brighter perspective of who we really are.
Will you fill your Bucket of Awesome with me?