I’ve been through trauma.
I’ve suffered loss.
I can’t do what other people can do.
I can’t have what I really want.
I’m stuck in this relationship.
I’m stuck in these circumstances.
I have mental limitations.
I have physical limitations.
These are things I hear in coaching sessions.
Some of them are even true. Regardless, every person chooses whether or not to wear them as their daily uniform. As humans, we create our identities. They are entirely up to us. We get to be the victim or the victor, or even neither.
Your body looks a certain way and can only do what it can do. Your brain works a certain way and can only do what it can do. There are limitations for each of us during this lifetime. What are we gonna do with that? We have the choice to complain about it, announce it to everyone, focus on how unfair it is, or we can meet our limitations with acceptance. We can shrug our shoulders, say Oh Well, and be intentional about living this life, moment by moment, with as much love and joy as we can.
If you’re miserable, sad, angry, or heartbroken, you’re probably resisting reality.
What causes our suffering is when we don’t like the way our life looks. It’s not the reality itself. That’s why you’ve heard stories of people with unbelievably difficult circumstances who thrive their way through life. They are choosing their own narrative, despite what life has handed them.
The people I’ve found un-coachable are the ones who can’t let go of their brokenness narrative. They’re the ones who are unable to shift their attention away from what’s lacking to the abundance in their lives. The ones with a litany of grievances about the world and their life. They say they want to be happy but they don’t actually. Their narrative is giving them enough of a payoff in some way that they pick it over joy every time. Sometimes it’s not even the payoff so much as the habit. When you’ve spent a lifetime feeling sorry for yourself, it doesn’t always register that you can change your mind.
I’m not talking about toxic positivity.
I’m a big fan of feeling your emotions, all of them. Emotions will naturally arise. They will also naturally subside, unless we begin a mental narrative and start manufacturing them. If you are constantly reminding yourself of how hard your life is, you’re going to create more unpleasant emotions. That’s why gratitude can be so powerful; you’re manufacturing good feelings.
Trauma is no joke. It will get in your way like nothing else and needs to be healed, but some people want to talk about their trauma rather than heal it. Some people don’t want to let go of that narrative. They want to discuss it and reinforce it. That’s a choice and there’s nothing wrong with it. We just need to have an understanding that we’re choosing to hold ourselves in those spaces. Long after the trauma, we are the ones who keep carrying it and building our identity around it.
It probably goes without saying that I love personal development. I don’t at all mind digging in the dirt and getting into the deep, hard work…as long as it’s growth-focused.
It’s hard to let go of the narrative.
It means you no longer have an excuse as to why your life doesn’t look the way you want it. That’s some scary responsibility to take on, especially when we look around and compare it to others. But if you’re here on this planet with me, there is still so much joy to be relished. There is so much wonder and beauty that’s free to all of us, if we reach out and snatch the tail of that narrative instead.