You know how we sometimes think one thing is a certain way, and then come to realize when faced with the reality that it's completely not? It happens all the time.
There are so many scenarios - actually every scenario - where we are telling ourselves a story about how a particular situation, reaction, experience is playing out. How we perceive and show up in the world is completely filtered through these stories. We talk a lot about "story" in the creative living realm when we are referring to one's own true personal narrative, which includes both experiences as well as thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes the stories we believe way deep down because of our experiences in life, are fairytales. They're not true. And this diversion can keep us from staying on the path we are meant to be on, and from being happy. My stories sometimes tell me that I am not an artist, that I'm not a good enough mother, that there will never be enough, that my husband is mad at me, that I won't fit in, and on and on and on. Sometimes these are the stories that seem to hold all the power. But that's a story too.
The only surefire way to debunk these beliefs are to push against them and to also talk about them - two of the hardest things to do when feeling uncertain and vulnerable. But when I stretch beyond the supposed boundaries or share about a painful experience, the reward is that I am moved closer to the truth. You know that fleeting moment when you feel so utterly in the flow of it all, like there is not a bit of resistance, only joy? That is it. THAT, is your truth.
It 's an ongoing and imperfect practice to learn to question everything, especially our own thoughts and feelings. Sifting through all of those voices is a constant battle, but to constantly challenge these narratives actually has the power to change them and write better endings.
And, here's a story that is absolutely true... the discomfort of fear and uncertainty that it takes to grow into your life is so much more bearable than the unhappiness and struggle it takes to resist our own reality.
If we can learn to embrace the fear of shedding old narratives instead of holding onto what's familiar and safe though possibly untrue, that shift is the ticket to more freedom and happiness. Quite often our personal reality is really hard to look at. It means seeing things about ourselves that we do not like. But by acknowledging these aspects of ourselves we then have the opportunity to change them and be empowered by our story instead of being controlled by it - that is the difference between living life and a life well lived.
The good news is, the more we practice being brave, the more we actually are being brave... and it's never to late to start practicing!