It’s the 4th Tuesday of the month and that means it’s time to join up with Carolyn and share how I’m doing with my 2021 One Little Word: Create.
This month in the Ali Edward’s class was all about identifying and considering the stories we tell ourselves. The concept stems from the work of Brené Brown, mostly in Rising Strong, but she also talks about this in her TED talk and in other books, too. The idea is that our brains are wired to protect us and often that first line of defense against any sort of attack is our brain making up a story about why something is happening. It could be as simple as wondering why your friend didn’t text you back or as complex as wondering why your father got sick with cancer and didn’t reach out to you before he died.
You may recall that story was my One Little Word a couple of years ago so this prompt was right up my alley. I’ve thought a lot about my story, how I want to shape the story of my life, and how I want to react to the things that impact my story. I’ve learned that I will probably always have a tendency to catastrophize something, but I’ve also learned to recognize when I’m doing it. I’ve learned that the stories I tell myself have a common theme, and it is that I’m not worthy. Not worthy of love, friendship, money, attention, good experiences . . . you name it, I’ve decided I’m not worthy of it.
Here’s a recent example that might help illustrate this. In order to travel to Iceland, we all had to have a COVID test with a negative result less than 3 days prior to the flight. I was convinced that I would be the only one who would test positive and then I would miss my daughter’s wedding. I was also convinced that this was my punishment for not being 100% on-board with the Iceland wedding plan from the beginning. I was so stressed out about this test and the outcome and I finally mentioned it to Hannah a day or so before we were getting tested and she said to me, “Mom. If you test positive we will postpone.” I was so relieved and completely verklempt that it mattered so much to Hannah and Mikey to have me there . . . and Hannah on the other hand, couldn’t understand how I could have ever thought they’d go ahead without me. Hell of a story I told myself, huh?
I think my word, create, is perfect for this prompt, because I can use it to remind myself to not create those sorts of stories. To not create a spiral of doom, to not doubt my worth to the people in my life. The story I want to tell myself, the story I want to create, is that I am good and worthy, that I bring joy to those in my life, that I make the world a better place.
As the saying goes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.