stories

The Power of the Stories We Tell About Ourselves

Written by Jennifer Komis, MAMFT, MDIV

Every night before my niece falls asleep, she makes one request: “Tell me a story.” Of course, I proceed to weave together tales of strong little girls who can fly, save the world, and do anything they put their minds to because that’s exactly who I hope she becomes.

My niece’s request reminds me that stories are the dominant language of our lives. We use them to make sense of our world and ourselves. And how we talk about ourselves in this world really matters.

Consider this: Do you see yourself as the hero of your own story?

The survivor? The overcomer? Or, in your story, do you write yourself as the disappointment, the “not enough,” the unworthy? Can you imagine how your view of yourself and what you are capable of might change if you dared to write a story in which you ARE worthy and lovable, just as you are, no matter what?

Perhaps it’s time to ask this question: Are you telling your own story, or someone else’s?

Is the story you’re telling made from a memory, institution, or belief? Are you stuck in a story you are desperate to get out of? Are you sitting, pencil poised, nervous, staring at a blank chapter, and unsure what to write? Do you feel that quiet little voice of excitement saying, “You can be anything, you know that, right?”

Whatever story you find yourself living today, just know, this is YOUR story. You can always add a new chapter, change the plot, or continue it the way it is. You can mourn your tragedies in one chapter and celebrate your triumphs in another. If nothing else, life is always changing. How lovely it could be to explore the dynamic possibilities always around you. Won’t you join me?

forgive

How To Forgive

Written by Megan Bayles Bartley, MAMFT, LMFT

“How do I forgive? How can I let go? When will this feeling go away? How do I get over this?”

These are phrases I hear daily. These are phrases I’ve asked my own therapist.

The best advice I was given is to find compassion for the person or the behavior as well as for myself. I had no idea what this looked like. I wasn’t even really open to the idea at first. It seemed that if I was compassionate, I would be excusing the person and the behavior. It took me years, if not decades, to allow that compassion to slowly become more present in my life and feel it make a home in my heart. It was DEFINITELY not an easy process.

The more compassion grew inside of me, I finally understood why it is so important. I thought of all the years I spent (perhaps wasted) in anger, fear, and anxiety that hurt me much more than it hurt anyone else.

Be open to compassion. If not for someone else, at least for yourself.

When you are compassionate with yourself, you model for others how to treat you. When you are compassionate with others, you invite them to be compassionate with you.

You deserve it. You are worth it.

trust yourself

Trust Yourself

“When you look around, feel insecure, and wonder who you can trust, know that you can trust yourself.
We often stand like little children, holding out our hands, waiting for someone to lead us somewhere, anywhere. We hope that someone can show us what we need to do next…Trust and respond to your own heart. Trust the wisdom and guidance within you.” ~Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart

Did you know that you don’t have to wait to see where/what the Universe/God/Source wants you to go or do?

Nope. You get to say, “Hey! Let’s do this! This really excites me and brings me joy!”
I know, I know, you may not know what it is that you want to do or what brings you joy. Or you’re scared and feeling unsure. We all are! Courage is doing something even though you are scared! We are all making this thing called life up as we go! All of us!
Be curious and prompt yourself often with, “Wouldn’t it be nice…” and see where that takes you. Perhaps you commit to using this prompt daily for a month or multiple times a day for a week!
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all trusted ourselves?