This article was published with permission from Juliet Bruce, PhD
We don’t tell the stories we live: we live the stories we tell ourselves. In other words, to a large extent, our outer lives reflect our inner realities, and we have more power than we think to shape our lives – whatever the outer circumstances.
We are born into this world as creatures of infinite possibility. From our first days, we connect dots of random experience that pour in through our senses. These connections become our foundational stories – templates of expectation about who we are and how our life will be, deeply embedded in our unconscious and our senses, and generally inaccessible to the rational part of the mind.
Sadly, many of us become trapped in limiting stories about ourselves and our lives. These stories usually have nothing to do with our inherent gifts and everything to do with negative early experience or familial, gender-based, and cultural expectations. For the rest of our lives, or until we become fully conscious of these core stories and begin to intentionally express and transform them, they replay over and over again, in school, work, relationships, and self-sabotaging behaviors – creating painful situations in our outer lives that mirror the inner pain from which we’re hiding.
Often it takes outer crisis to drive us inward to really take a look around at what we’re projecting onto experience and how that may be contributing to our difficulties.
From a story perspective, the moment when life falls apart – whether we are shattered by external events or bursting with inner yearning – that moment is the call to life-changing adventure.
The good news is that no matter how harsh a story you have to tell, it is your strength, because it is your truth. You can honor this story and tell it as it is, or you can choose to rewrite it. Either way, you are a living story.