So I sort of dropped the ball on updating you on my journey with the word story. I haven’t done a monthly update since May. Whoops. I’m going to call this one my Summer Update and consider us caught up. Mmmmkay?
Here’s the thing with this year’s word (it’s story, in case you forgot) . . . my journey with it keeps changing. I think that’s a good thing because it means I’m growing and evolving but it’s also very different than how I’ve related to my words in years past. With joy and grace and shine I could just focus on the word and how it showed up in my life and how I could get more of it but with story it’s more about me asking myself on a daily basis: what do I want my story to be? And conversely, what do I not want my story to be?
I’d say for the first half of the year I focused on lot on what my story was . . . on the things that happened to me to get me to where I am, on the life vows I made during childhood that had a lot to do with not being enough . . . not smart enough, not pretty enough, certainly not thin enough, and not worthy enough to stay with because eventually everyone I love either leaves me or dies – especially those somebodies that are men. You don’t need all the gory details and I’m not looking for sympathy but I’ll just say there was some traumatic and violent stuff that I saw on a regular basis when I was a kid and because of it my fall back position is I’m going to hurt you before you get the chance to hurt me.
I’m at the point where I’m releasing those vows (this is hard work, friends) and trying hard to see that those vows don’t serve me anymore. I am not powerless when it comes to love or behavior or money, I control so much of how those things play out in my life. I’m not at the whim of someone buying cigarettes when we actually can’t pay for oil to heat our house. I don’t have to make homemade bows for my Christmas presents because that’s what my mother did. I don’t have to believe that I’m not pretty but it’s okay because I have a good personality just because that’s what my grandmother told me when I was 8. I have the power to make all the choices about how I spend my time, my talent, and my money. I feel like Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz: I’ve had the power all along, I just didn’t know it.
Now that my year with the word story is more than half over I’m trying to focus on what comes next for my story, what my next chapter might be. I’ve had some big ideas floating around in my head for the last few months. Ideas that have been pretty scattered but are finally starting to sort themselves into categories and identifiable goals and ways to expand my life. Ideas about teaching people how to use essential oils. Ideas about crafting products for some extra cash for my family. Ideas about consulting work to help empower women. I think that last one is my favorite and could be a terrific long term goal since I’m really starting to think about what comes next for me when I retire. Yes, it’s still probably 6 years away, give or take, but it’s not too early to start laying the ground work for that part of my story.
And that’s where I am on my journey with my One Little Word right now. A little more focused. A bit less scared. A lot more vulnerable. And most definitely excited.
Mary K. in Rockport says
Wow, that is bravely revelatory. Good for you.
I hate to think how much of my life I wasted because, like you, “my fall back position is I’m going to hurt you before you get the chance to hurt me.” It makes a difference when you find a man you can trust, doesn’t it, but then it takes a long time before you totally trust, doesn’t it? Good to know we can make progress no matter how hard it is. Congratulations on your journey. And thank you for sharing it with us.
Carole, what a cool journey you’re on right now – and I think it’s also very cool how vulnerable and honest you’re being here in this space. It’s one of the many things I love about you! I look forward to seeing where your story takes you next!
Wow, what a scary and wonderful journey you’re having with your story! I hope it continues to grow, and you continue to understand that you had the power all along.
Robby H says
Isn’t it a shame that we can absorb so much misinformation or bad information about our selves at a point in life we aren’t yet equipped to identify what is ‘true’ and what is factual.
Good, deep thoughts on this post.
WOW! Bravo!!! Loving your thoughts about the future – sounds wonderful.
Wow. I love the positive path your story is taking Carole! And I love the thoughts about the future. Thank-you for sharing…there is a bit of that I can certainly related to as well. xo
I’m sorry that there has been so much pain in your life, but I’m also happy to hear how empowered you have become by taking ownership of your life and your story. I love the idea of working to empower women — and I have a feeling it’s so meaningful to you because it’s what you could have used in the past.
Powerful and beautiful story, Carole! Thank you so much for sharing it – I know sharing these things is not easy. I am in awe of your new story ideas! They all sound amazing – and so much you!
Self study and realization is never easy, but probably the most rewarding thing we’ll ever do! I love how you share your life journey with everyone, providing insight and hope to so many who are going down similar paths in their lives. I can definitely seeing you doing empowering things after you retire, you’d be phenomenal in that field!
Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. It’s amazing how so many of your comments hit home with me. It’s a life long work in progress for all of us and I’m so grateful for women like you that reinforce the positive.
Your one word has made your story more reflective and we’ve been the beneficiaries of your ability and willingness to share your story. Thank you.
What a brave story. The way you looked back at your story and then turned the focus to what you want the story to be is a good reminder to all of us and sounds very productive. Empowering women – yes, yes, yes.
This is the hardest work you will ever do, Carole. I speak from experience. I have learned to accept who I am, and how I got that way, and it sounds like you have, too. All those things that you have thought were negative are also positive. It’s just a matter of perspective. I have had a lot of pain in my life, too, but it can be such an invaluable learning experience. I hope the next stage of your journey allows you give up some need for control over your journey and you just learn to ride the tide. It’s freeing. I think you would be a wonderful life coach for women’s empowerment issues, but wherever you end up, I know you will be helping others.
Oh, YES. Oh, Carole. I think you’re on the best possible path FORWARD. All the love. XO
Our lives are a continual journey. I have discovered that one does not need to “finish or complete” a goal as it can change or alter as we travel through this life. The only real goal I keep to steadfastly is happiness which comes from family and friends. They are my heart’s compass.
Wow! What a wonderful journey you are on and I wish you well as your story moves you forward.
Thank you for sharing…it’s not easy. Parents don’t realize how long their words can linger and own our lives. I still remember my dad telling someone that my brother was the athlete, my sister the pretty one and me..the one with common sense and in turn, like you, I never felt pretty or enough.
My year of the word Joy has been so different than your joy year was and man o man it’s been a rough one, but it’s forcing me to find joy in ways that are not on the surface..and like you it’s definitely been a work in process. (I may skip a word next year..ha!)
It sounds like you are on the right path with an exciting and adventurous future to look forward to! love you!!
What an amazing word/year/story for you!! Your future sounds very exciting, Carole.