You Are Becoming Your Story
Cindie Chavez ©2018
She had recently experienced another trying situation, a prolonged struggle, thankfully followed by a victory, and of course a renewed sense of relief. All is well. Everything is going to be okay. Phew! Thank goodness. And then, like a sweet cherry on top, she received a lovely email from a close friend telling her how much she was admired for her ability to stay strong and carry herself in such a beautiful way during such a difficult time.
I’m certain that most of us have been in stressful situations, places that required us to “keep the faith” and “keep our chin up”. For some of us that also means that we keep worrying, keep praying, affirming, hoping, and maybe gritting our teeth a bit. And surely most of us have enjoyed coming out on the other side of the situation victorious, and relieved – “Phew! everything is going to be okay.”
Maybe not quite as many of us have received a note telling us that we were admired for our courage, bravery, and tenacity (or whatever other wonderful quality helped us through), but I’m sure we would all agree that being noticed and complimented for how we handled ourselves and our situation would be an enjoyable experience.
My friend did enjoy the email, it was kind and complimentary and encouraging. And…she also had a bit of an epiphany while enjoying this loving message.
When she read the email, it seemed suddenly obvious how she was viewed by others. And from this revelation, she gathered that maybe the ability to continually overcome stressful situations was “her story.” She recognized that this was how she consistently described herself.
Hearing this reminded me of a conversation I once had with a woman who was considering hiring me as her coach. During the first 15 minutes of our conversation, she referred to herself as “a survivor” multiple times as she recounted some of the things she had been through during the past decade. Most of these experiences were things none of us want to deal with – job loss, divorce, cancer. A few of the experiences she described were truly horrifying, like being kidnapped.
First, I commended her that she had survived these things she had described – a multitude of extremely challenging situations. And then I pointed out to her that she had referred to herself as “a survivor” repeatedly inside of 15 minutes. It seemed to me that she identified so strongly with being “a survivor” that the Universe had no other choice than to supply her with a continual stream of events to survive. “I am a survivor” – it came out of her mouth so effortlessly, proudly. Her ability to survive the never-ending flood of crisis and catastrophes in her life had become her identity. “I am a survivor” was her defining statement.
Likewise, my friend realized she was being defined by her ability to overcome stressful situations with grace and strength. She decided to change her story.
Life is full of challenging situations, and when we are successful in finding ways to meet those challenges we can rightfully be pleased, even proud. We can celebrate our victory whether it came by way of our own strengths, creativity, coping mechanisms, perseverance, and other unique abilities – or from helpful friends and angels – often it’s a combination of these things.
I hear stories every day about people surviving hard places. Once in a blue moon, I hear a story of someone even surviving being kidnapped. Good people, kind people, people who are strong, graceful, resourceful. People who have yet to discover the full spectrum of their own unique gifts, talents, and coping mechanisms. All sorts of people survive accidents, addictions, diseases, bankruptcy, divorce, loss of income, loss of loved ones, and all manner of devastating circumstances. It is easy to be amazed at the sheer tenacity of the human spirit that allows us to walk through a hard place and come out on the other side, triumphant. And yet, we don’t have to let these hard places define us.
Whatever “story” we are telling about ourselves will continually play itself out in our experience.
Whatever hard places we’ve walked through, we have surely collected treasure there, and those gems can certainly be a defining aspect of our identity, part of our story that gives us our own unique brilliance.
Some of the things that make me unique are my strong intuition and ability to resolve conflicts gently and communicate masterfully. I use these gifts every day, in my professional life as a coach as well as in my personal life. These things are a part of who I am, I can’t not use them. I acquired these skills and gifts while in a very hard place, and yet I allow these qualities of masterful communication and intuition to be a big part of who I am, without having to revisit the hard place over and over as part of my story.
Whatever hard places you’ve been, you have most likely acquired something beautiful and valuable there. If you’re in a hard place now this is your opportunity to use the qualities you already have acquired to assist you where you are now.
“I am strong” is a more powerful story than “I am a survivor”. “I am creative and resourceful” is a more empowering story than “I always find a way out of every struggle.”
Diamonds and pearls are created from pressure and irritants and then celebrated for their sparkle and beauty. Hard places give us opportunities to build strength, grace, wisdom and all manner of priceless and admirable qualities. It is possible to let these beautiful treasures shine as part of who you are, instead of letting the struggle be what defines you.
You, in all your sparkling magnificence, are the star of your story. The hard places are just a detail in the backstory. Let the sparkle define you.
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONLIGHT™ – A Course in Manifesting Love and the author of Healing for a Broken Heart. She has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONLIGHT™ – A Course in Manifesting Love and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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