The Stories They Wrote by Louise Gallagher He wasn’t born a criminal though his mother said on the day he was born that he would grow up to be a bad one it was written in his stars. She wasn’t born drug addicted though her father said on the day she took her first step that she would go nowhere but bad it was written in her blood. And when he grew up he lived true to his mother’s predictions until he found himself in that place where time was all you got and he had no choice but to dig for a way out from beneath the layers of a story his mother wrote for him on the day he was born. And when she entered treatment for the first time she had to go back again and again to erase the scars she’d etched into her skin searching for the beginning of the story her father had written when she’d taken her first step. And they both kept digging and they both kept searching and re-writing and re-wiring the stories they told themselves they had no choice but to live until to live the story of their own creation they had no choice but to walk away from the stories they’d always known but never wanted the stories no one should have written on the day they were born.
We all have stories. Stories we tell on ourselves, stories our family tell about us, stories we’d rather forget but can’t seem to keep ourselves from living again and again.
We all have stories.
And here’s the thing about our stories. They are personal to us. They are our experience. Two people can have a similar experience; one is traumatized and the other doesn’t give it any more thought.
Our responses are personal. They are a combination of our emotional make-up, history, experiences, environment, childhood…
In my family, there was a story of my birth that left me feeling unwanted and a disappointment. As I got older, my family quit telling that story. I didn’t. Until one day I decided, enough is enough. And I changed the story to something that celebrates my life and my being here on this earth.
The fact remains though, that until I made that choice, everything about me was shadowed by my internalized belief that I was unwanted and a disappointment.
Unravelling the feelings that story evoked and its limiting beliefs was critical to my freeing myself to live my life, my way, in joy, gratitude and Love.
Working at a homeless shelter, everyday I encountered people whose lives were a daily repetition of stories they didn’t want to live but didn’t have the knowledge nor resources to change.
This morning, as I was reading the news, the story of a young man I’d encountered at the shelter popped into my mind. When he was born, his mother had said he would be good for nothing.
At 26, he had been in and out of jail numerous times. This time, he was determined to stay out.
To do that, he had to learn tools that would help him in walking away from the story he’d been living out of his mother’s predictions.
He wasn’t born criminal. He was made that way by his environment, lack of nurturing, lack of good role models and a limiting belief that he would be good for nothing.
We all have stories. We all have limiting beliefs.
To live our own stories, we must set ourselves free of our limiting beliefs so we can write a story that celebrates the magnificent nature of our human condition.
Do you have a limiting belief that is holding you back from living life as the star you are meant to be? Are you willing to set yourself free to shine?