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Giving Up the Story

By Karen Wright

There is a story you've heard many times... so many that you've memorized it by heart. Yet, it's not always a story you like and it's even sometimes a story you hate. It's also a story you feel compelled to tell everyone you know - over and over and over again.

What is this story? It's YOUR story. You know, the one that fills in all the background on why you and your life are the way you and you life are. The story of your difficult childhood or your cheating spouse. The tale of your failed business or addiction to carbs. It's the story you wrap around you like a tattered wool coat hoping that it will protect you from the chilly inquisitions of critical eyes. The excuses you hide beneath for not living up to your potential.

As wretched as your story may seem, you reluctantly embrace its jagged edges. For it has become so much a part of you that you can't imagine who you'd be without it. And, if truth be told - your story has POWER! It can garner sympathetic solace and soften harsh judgments. And if it's a really good story, one that tugs at their hearts, can even remove all expectation of recovery.

It's a good bet that, over time, you've perhaps embellished or exaggerated your story to enhance its impact. After all, those who've heard it all before have become a bit bored - you needed more drama to keep their attention. But, the one who is most affected by the telling of your story is you. Each time you tell it, you make it more real. You add weight to its blow to your self-esteem.

Eventually, after the ears go deaf and the sympathetic smiles turn to rolling eyes, you realize that your story is neither unique nor particularly interesting. It's just a story - one of millions that all sound pretty much the same. We all have our reasons and excuses and justifications for not being or having or doing what we want. The story is yesterday's news and has undoubtedly been told more eloquently by someone more renowned.

So, now what? What story do we tell ourselves if this one's outlived its flimsy purpose? How about a story of promise and commitment? One of passion and potential. How about a story of the future, not the past? That's a tale waiting to be told - longing to be dreamed and brought to life. It's a story we can really do something with. One we can get excited about. And yes, it's a story that will create expectations - ours and theirs. Telling a future tale takes courage and imagination. But, we were born with warehouses full of the stuff!

What will your story be? What exciting plot will you weave in? What fascinating characters will be in your tale? On what distant short is the sunset that you will ride off into? This is so much more exhilarating than resurrecting a dead past! You have life-giving breath. Breathe it into your dreams. Dreams are not just flights of fancy. They are not foolish kid-stuff. Dreams are the soul's inspiration and the future's best-seller.

This is why you are here - to bring your true story to life and let the world rise in a standing ovation. Imagine taking that bow! The theatre is filling and we're waiting with anticipation for the curtain to rise. We're here for you and we can't wait to shower you with adoration. You're a star!

Karen is author of The Sequoia Seed: Remembering the Truth of Who You Are, a great read for anyone who is seeking understanding or guidance, inspiration or clarity in his or her life.
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