Choose How Your Story Ends

 “When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending – to rise strong, recognize our story and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we thing, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.” Brené Brown

Our personal life’s stories can be a source of great pain or the thing that propels us to our greatest self. Although we would love to grow, too often we feel trapped inside our stories. We let them define us, tell us what we can and cannot do. They are the root of our excuses and the reason we beat ourselves up. Our stories have us believing that there is no way out of our current situation – that there is only one way to go and that it is on the same path we’ve always traveled. What if . . . all that we have told ourselves was – well, bull?  In each moment, we have the power to change. To be completely different from who we were yesterday, the month before that, and the year before that. Most of us are unaware that the obstacles we believe exist are really paper tigers waiting for us to tear them down. If we want to stand in our truth and live different lives, we face what scares us and take a long hard look. Maybe you’ve spent your life working hard not to be like your mom – only to discover that no matter how hard you’ve tried to deny that story it inevitably find its way in. When we look at our past, we actually invite the possibility of freeing ourselves from denial. The key, as Brené Brown points out, is not to deny the story, but be brave enough to face it and then write a new ending. You need to feel all the feelings, recognize your pain and see that no matter what happened, your story always contains seeds for a new ending. Even your darkest moments contain something of value – wisdom, a lesson, an opportunity to see something you’ve never seen before. Once we have had the courage to face our stories, we can slowly gain the confidence to own them and recognize that if we want off the path we are on, that is up to us to rise up and choose a new one.

Weekly Path to Peace: Choose how your story ends.

  • In what way do you deny or disengage from your story? What emotions have you tried to stuff down or pretend are no longer present for you. Spend time every day this week connecting to all of the stories you might still be denying. What emotions do you notice become present for you? Allow yourself to be honest and journal about what you discover.
  • What truth can you discover about your stories that will help empower you? What qualities have you seen that you own or have displayed that could be of use to you now? For example, if you saw real courage in a moment, how can courage help you re-write how your story ends? Once you have identified all of the qualities, pick one and create an action or support structure that will allow you to display or practice this quality this week.