I’ve loved stories for as long as I can remember. Haven’t you? I devoured the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books as soon as I was able to read. I wrote my first poem at age 7 and got chastised regularly by the insane nun who taught 6th grade for “pretending to read those big books” I brought in each week for Silent Sustained Reading (SSR, my favorite hour of school). Once she even picked up the book I was reading, Clan of the Cave Bear, and threw it across the room thereby ruining the only pleasant hour of school I’d have that week. But I was not dismayed.
I would have my stories and NO ONE would take them away from me.
Trouble is, many of the stories I worshiped so loyally were the ones I’d made up myself…about myself. And they’d been written so long ago, before I was able to understand that I/Me was a separate entity from the world around I/Me.
We have a very difficult time grasping this before we’re old enough. We begin to get it around age 4 but don’t have a full understanding until around age 7. Anything that happens around us before that time, we assume has to do with us: Because of us.
My home was not a peaceful one when I was very young. And I was babysat regularly by an alcoholic uncle who was quite troubled. I was loved dearly by many, but that didn’t protect me from the sometimes-harsh world we all live in.
So I gathered a lot of information from my first few years on Earth and wrote some very important stories about it all:
- You are not safe.
- You are weak.
- Life will always hurt you.
- You are bad.
- You do not deserve love.
- Men are stronger and better than you.
These stories were written to make sense out of the senseless.
They were written to protect my Self from pain and unraveling. And for 30+ years, I held onto them like they were my only true salvation. In return for my loyalty, these stories held me in depression, self-doubt and failure…where I’d be most comfortable.
Until somebody, somewhere, at some point finally told me I could re-write them. I didn’t believe them at the time, so deep had I fallen in love with these stories. But I knew the affair had to end, it was slowly killing me. So I tried it.
- I am safe.
- I am strong.
- Life is good to me.
- I am perfect, whole and complete.
- I deserve love and pleasure.
- Men are the same as me, no better, no worse.
Over and over and over again. I had to repeat these new stories to my Self. I STILL have to repeat them, lest I forget. 30+ years of the old version takes more than a few months (or years) to undo.
But little by little, I began to see a change. The young child still hiding inside slowly began to believe these new stories. She started to peek her head out of the darkness and take another look around. She began to feel the safety, protection and love she had been longing for all these decades. And she became willing to share these hidden parts of herself with you.
Are there any stories lurking in your corners that need a good re-write? I’d bet my next paycheck there are. Why not start today? Leave a comment and let’s get to writin’!