We all have our own stories. Have you ever heard yourself tell your personal story to someone else, almost as if you were talking about another person, like it was a script? You might have felt disconnected with the story (because you’ve told it so many times that even you’re bored with it). Or, you might tell it with a lot of emotion, feeling over and over again how you were abandoned as a child. Then it hurts again, right? Guess what...here’s a little tough love: It doesn’t have to.

I’m here to tell you that you can change your story. Absolutely. No matter what happened to you when you were younger, or during your divorce, or now that you feel lonely. You have a choice about how you’re going to look at it and what story you’re going to tell.

For a long time after my husband and I split up, I was a Victim. Capital V. I wore my scarlet V on my forehead, as a chip on my shoulder, and a weight on my back. “Look how I was hurt, abandoned, insulted, embarrassed...” the list went on and on, and I backed up my story with examples to anyone who would listen.

Ugh.

Then one day I heard myself telling my story to a dear friend who had listened to some version of it 100 times by now. I watched her eyes glaze over, probably screaming inside, “Get over it!” And I stopped. I was tired of hearing myself say it, let alone think it again. It was exhausting, painful and I was reliving the hurt over and over again. And each time it was reinforcing my belief that I was victimized.

So, I changed my story. I made a declaration to myself: no more playing the victim! I did not want to be the kind of role model for my daughters, who, without her husband, is angry and unable to cope. Who IS that person?? I didn’t want it to be me. So, I took responsibility for my own part in the breakup of our marriage (that was not easy for me - it meant letting go of the abandonment, taking responsibility and not having the same story playing, which had become oddly comforting.)

So how are you going to rewrite YOUR story? It’s the only way out of the pain and suffering. Here’s the crib sheet for changing your story:

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS - Burying them or using anger or lethargy to cover up the real feelings underneath only serves as a personal prison. Ask yourself: What am I really feeling? Honor it, know that it is a habitual response and then here’s an important step:

SURRENDER THOSE FEELINGS - I mean it. You don’t have to know how it’s going to change, just know it must, and you’ll figure it out as you go. Ask the Universe, Spirit, whatever you call your God to take it away. Ask for help. And then know it’s on its way in a form you will be on the lookout for. (There are ways to expedite this step that are too in depth to into here.)

MAINTAIN SELF DISCIPLINE - Catch yourself when you start to rehash your story, complain or blame. It’s a habit, and it takes time to change. Be gentle with yourself, but don’t stop until it feels more uncomfortable to tell the (old) story you’ve been telling, as opposed to the one you want to be living.

WRITE YOUR NEW STORY - When you put pen to paper, your brain, soul and Spirit hear it differently and it’s stronger. Write how you would like your life to look. Be the author of the next part of your life. You’re in charge. Read it every day.
FAKE IT 'TIL YOU MAKE IT - Seriously. It works. Start saying positive things about your ex, your boss, or whomever “hurt” you. Start spinning a new tale of power, balance and strength - who you really are deep inside.

SEND LOVE TO THE PERSON WHO "HURT" YOU THE MOST - AAAhhh. Do I hear a scream? Yes, this is quite difficult, but it helps and it works. If you can see the other person a) as part of this One we call our Universe - which means s/he is part of you, and b) as doing you a favor because you have something to learn in order to grow, it becomes easier.

If not now, when? Have courage to step into the unknown. I promise that you can wake up almost every morning doing the happy dance. Wanna dance?

Author's Bio: 

Teresa M. Goetz, is a Life Coach, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist, who has spent her career helping women realize their potential at all stages of life. Her work has paralleled her own personal experiences, and includes specialized work at all women’s major life stages, including pregnancy, child birth, parenthood/ mothering, partnership/ marriage, divorce, and middle life.

Teri gets enormous satisfaction from watching women grow into who they truly are meant to be. She creates and holds a safe space for her clients so that they may turn personal crises, like divorce, into defining moments to transforms their lives. She helps women achieve clarity and confidence, and then breathe fresh air into their futures.

Teri speaks and writes about women's issues and health, works with clients one-on-one and offers workshops for women.

She is a mother of 2 daughters, step mother to two more and married to a wonderful man!

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