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Our Stories Keep Us Trapped

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

Everyone has a story. This is actually a really beautiful thing. To have the privilege to learn someone's story sheds a light on how much we have all been through in life and the resiliency of the human spirit. It often gives us a way to relate to each other and to have more compassion and empathy. There is just one problem. Most of our stories make us into the victim and we don't even realize it.

Let me share a variety of quick one-sentence stories you may be able to relate to:

My mother abandoned me.

My father died when I was 14.

I was bullied in school.

I was considered a nerd.

I have always been overweight.

I was never allowed to be emotional or speak up.

I am a cancer survivor.

I'm an alcoholic.

I am an immigrant.

I am diabetic.

I am divorced.

I was in an abusive relationship.

These short, quick labels or stories we tell are not generally in the tone of empowerment. They are quite often either half-truths or gross over-generalizations. Even if we have put a positive spin on them with spiritual bypassing, the underlying story we once had spins over and over again in the subconscious to make us into the victim.

They hold us back and keep us trapped in the past. They limit us from ever moving forward or slow us way down! We use them as excuses for why we are the way we are instead of understanding that the past is in the past and we are free to be whoever we want to be. Wouldn't you rather be empowered and liberated instead of a victim?!

These stories are generally what create our limiting beliefs. A limiting belief is something that holds you back from being successful and doing what you would truly like to do in life. Often times it comes out as:

I'm too old.

I'm too young.

I don't know how to make friends.

I'm not in good enough shape.

I don't have enough time.

I don't have enough money.

These excuses come from our belief systems that are usually directly tied to our stories. They are ways to keep us safe and from stepping outside our comfort zone. Our brain truly thinks it is trying to protect us from getting hurt but in reality, it is actually hurting us by holding us back.

I often find that people really wish they could do something but always have an excuse why they can't. These are the stories in our heads that prevent us from evolving. They keep us in a safe little world where we can't truly thrive because we haven't healed from the past. We are still clinging to our past and making it our current identity and even our future if we don't take action to change.

So how can we take action to change?! Well, it is time to face yourself. It is time to sit down with your past and address it. I know it can be scary to tap into old wounds again but it is time to officially close that chapter of your life story and start writing a new one. I mean that quite literally!

One way to heal your past is to actually write an aspect of your story out. Think about the pattern that holds you back most in your life. Maybe you are really afraid of speaking up and feel like you always have to people-please and can't speak your mind. Where did that thought process come from? What happened in your past that suppressed your voice? What happened in your past that made you feel unworthy of love and that you had to earn it by sacrificing your own needs to take care of others? Write those stories out.

When stories and words are trapped inside our heads, they can consume us. We feel like we know the story by heart but it is actually a big jumble that is based more on feelings than facts. Write it down and get your thoughts and feelings on paper. Express yourself fully with no judgment. Writing your story out will be a release in itself. I think as you read back through your story you will see just how much you have placed yourself as a victim.

Now it is time for a re-write! Our stories are often partial truths. They are one side of the story that we have clung to and become hyper-fixated on. What are the actual facts of the story, put your feelings and interpretation of it aside?

If you were watching a movie and wanted to be the superhero of that story, how would you retell it?

Where have you been focused on the dark part of the story when there is actually a lot of light that you have been ignoring?

Has anything happened since that original event that actually proves your story wrong?

What could shift your perception from being the victim to being empowered?

Have you only been focused on one small part of the bigger story?

These are great questions to reflect on and journal out. Healing is a process and there are so many different techniques and tools that can help us heal the stories of our past so they stop holding us back from the life we truly dream of.

Journaling is just one technique but I have found it is very helpful for most of my clients because you have to slow down and think while you write. There is a power to putting your words on paper and actually documenting it. Turning those emotions and thoughts into something you can physically hold in your hands and see with your eyes.

I would hope that reflecting on the past could show you how much you have grown. It could show you that you are worthy of love. Your voice is important and should be heard. You are a survivor but you are many other wonderful things too. It will help you release those old beliefs, excuses, and fears to step into the fullest version of yourself. Your stories are what have been holding you back from becoming the person you have so deeply wanted to be for so many years.

It's time to let go of the past and step into your future.



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