I heard a rabbi talk the other night on personal narratives. And as I listened I began to think – what’s my personal narrative? What am I saying to myself about the show I’m supposed to be the star of? Listening to him I realized that our personal narratives – our message to ourselves – can either lead us to our truth or totally get in the way of our direction.
Sometimes we use our personal narrative as a stress management function. For example, how many times have I reminded myself that “I’m ok”?
Sometimes, we let our personal narrative become a crutch, a lie, a twisting of what we know is true. Been there/done that. And while we think we’re protecting ourselves from pain, we’re actually creating more pain.
Look, we all have self-doubt. We all question our ability as a parent, friend, partner, etc. This is part of the normal process of being human. But we must learn to create a personal narrative that supports healthy growth and development. We must match the positiveness of our actions with the positiveness of our words. They can’t be incongruent.
Sometimes we just don’t know what our personal narrative is. Sometimes we have laryngitis. Sometimes we need others to help us with our narrative – again part of life. But know that you will find your own voice.
So ask yourself: is your narrative full of statements or full of questions? If there are questions, are they the right ones? Are they open-ended? Don’t close yourself off with statements and questions that have only one answer. Sometimes the same questions will bring different answers at different times. Sometimes the questions hurt. Sometimes the answers hurt. Yet, painful questions and answers can also create a healthier personal narrative.
If you think you’re perfect, that you are always right, that everyone has it wrong – then you don’t need a personal narrative. You don’t need to match what you’re doing and saying. You don’t need to look deeply at the pain you cause others in the name of taking care of yourself. (If this is someone you know – run away. These folks are energy suckers.)
If you know you’re imperfect but you want to examine your imperfections and find new ways to look at the world and your life; if you want to create a personal narrative that’s honest, that acknowledges the cloudiness but is willing to wait for the sun to shine; if it’s a narrative that’s loving and positive, then join me!
But let’s never forget – it’s ok to be just where you are right now. It’s ok to change your personal narrative to reflect how you’re feeling at this very moment. It’s ok if your narrative hasn’t gotten you to where you thought you’d be – you can just make that part of your narrative too!
Welcome to this beautiful fall season with the chance for a new narrative.