How we look at our life in the past and present is through stories.
Things happen and we have a story. If there are three people in the story, each will have a different impression of the event.
The stories we tell ourselves are just that, stories. We bring our thoughts and feelings into them. How we tell the story is how we feel about the situation.
Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather. Family stories affect how everyone interacts.
My family is spread out and we don’t get together. Our stories have broken us apart. Instead of talking about things and working through them, we hold onto the stories that keep us stuck and separated.
Yesterday my sister called to tell me that my Mother had passed away that morning. My mother had been dealing with dementia. I saw her in March and she wasn’t really there. She had trouble coming up with words. There were moments that I wondered if she knew who I was.
I am the second of five kids. I had my role in the family, just like we all do. I was the caretaker. The only way I got love was to do for others.
My Mother, a narcissist, took advantage of this. When I decided I was finished with that role, I started to see my childhood differently. I saw all she had done to keep me in that role. I was upset and angry to be treated that way.
I didn’t want to live angry or pass more disfunction to the next generation. I wanted to change how I looked at things.
The thing that made the biggest difference for me, was looking at my stories differently. For years I could hear the nasty hurtful things my mother said and feel horrible. With these old stories I wouldn’t grow and change. Those stories weren’t serving me. I was the victim. In a victim role I had no power. I wanted to take my power back. I needed to change the story.
I started to have empathy for my mother and her childhood. I started to see things differently.
Of course, there was no magic pill. It took years and lots of heartache to make the change. It will continue the rest of my life. As a coach I am constantly learning different ways to live better and happier.
Changing the stories changed my life.
Instead of hating my Mother, I had changed my view of her many years ago. I saw her as a wounded person who never worked to change her stories.
We all have the power to change.
Changing the story is key.
Today, I am thinking of my Mother and sending her love.