Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Morning Reflection: The stories we believe in ourselves

The stories we believe in ourselves.

As little children we love stories. We love being read to. We love how in a story, the world makes sense.

As we grow, we tell ourselves stories to explain why the world works in the way it does. In light of the chaos present in the universe, telling stories allows us to create structure, logic and understanding.

But sometimes we tell ourselves stories to explain things we can’t understand. As the child of an emotionally absent father, I created the story that I was such a bad child my father didn’t want to be around me. It was either that, or try to understand a situation for which I had no reference, logic or rationale.

A good friend of mine adopted the story that she was overweight because her mother was pressuring her to lose weight, when in truth it was about the mother’s issues, and nothing to do with my friend. She carried this for many years, and in some aspects still carries it. An untruth, made into a truth, by a desire to be accepted, loved and cherished.

When we accept these stories as a child, they become the filters through which we understand the world. The child who believes they must be perfect will never know the peace of ‘good enough’. The teenager who believes they are different will never know the feeling of being a part of something larger. The adult who believes they are destined to fail will never know the satisfaction of risking and winning, because they will never try.

Unless they un-learn these stories, challenge the narrative, break out of the imaginary chains and soar into the new truth.

That they are enough. They are powerful. They can succeed.

Make sure that every child within your influence hears the right stories. That life is tough for all, but hard work and persistence makes a difference. That we all fail at some time, but we try again. That heartbreak is rarely permanent, and never a reason to stop loving.

And most importantly, that they are loved, cherished, valued and cared for.

They are. You are. We are.

Change their story, change their life.


-- Dr. Alan Barnes

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