Self-responsibility is powerful medicine.
At the same time, the general insistence (especially in the spiritual, healing, and personal development realm) that personal challenge = being stuck in a story is frankly, complete bullshit. It draws the attention away from what is truly being offered to you via your experience and instead, adds insult to injury via the subtle judgement that you are “stuck in a story”.
Seriously, though — isn’t it interesting that we never consider ourselves to be “stuck in a story” if it makes us feel good? If it bolsters our sense of confidence? If it brings us sense of clarity about who we are and how the world works?
You can try and gloss over, ignore, or positive affirmation your way past the confusion, uncertainty and hurts of the present and the past all day long but stories: our individual and collective stories (and the sorrow, grief, anger, fear, shame, and guilt that we don’t want to experience), come to visit our consciousness and our body psyches again and again because they haven’t been truly heeded and heard.
Your “stories” seek your embrace
If you are anything like me, you wonder why in the heck you would possibly want to embrace a story with a guarantee that you will feel that kind of emotional pain. Here is why: because it is part of you. When you deny it, dismiss it, or diminish the relevance of these aspects of you or your life, you lose something precious. In the denial, you halt the clear flow of energy (because emotions are energy that carry profound wisdom). From a spiritual/energetic healing perspective, the energy becomes frozen within the body psyche, unable to be accessed until it is released, felt and integrated.
This energy, this life force that is denied — it is a source of power, presence and wisdom. It behooves us to learn to welcome all of ourselves, our emotions, and our experiences without a preference for what we deem “good”.
In fact, this energy, experience and emotion that we try so hard to push away and ignore actually holds the very wisdom and courage that will align us with the life that is ours to live. The life where we are most fulfilled and where we are contributing to the well-being of the whole in powerful ways.
And at the same time, truly, this process of embracing our whole experience can kind of suck. I won’t lie. I still don’t particularly enjoy feeling the full range of my feelings. I can still find myself doing All The Things to get some distance between myself and a hard understanding of myself or a circumstance.
And yet, this is life
I can make a strong argument that ANY preference or strong belief could be construed as “being stuck in a story” — anything on the continuum from “love, light and high vibes” all the way to the other end of the spectrum at “life is suffering”. Life is magnificent and life is brutally challenging. Life is beautiful and ugly. Life is all the things and if we desperately wish to lean in one direction, or another, we miss out on so much.
We miss out on the wisdom, the conviction, the clarity and the power that comes from courageously welcoming and facing our most challenging emotions and circumstances. We miss out on the true sense of joy and appreciation for life that is available when we aren’t denying parts of our experience.
Write YOUR story.
To write the story that is yours to write, you need access to all of your wisdom, energy and power. To be the woman you are requires you to hear and heed the wisdom that exists in the full range of your experiences and emotions. To be the woman you wish to be requires compassion and the courage to embrace, and to work with, the raw materials that you’ve been given. You are not stuck in a story. You are being called to reclaim your power. You are crafting a legacy, my sister.
It won’t be quick.
It won’t be easy.
But it will be real and human, and messy and absolutely profound.
No, you are not stuck in a story. Life is simply inviting you to craft a fuller, richer, more heroic story.
That’s all. And it’s everything.