Stories are what we tell ourselves to make sense of something we've experienced. Either we saw something, heard something, tasted something or felt something. If it was pleasurable, our stories bring us a great deal of joy. If our experience was painful, our stories tend to be full of sorrow.
That's how powerful story is. Even at the young age of 4 or 5, the story that I told myself took residence in the connective tissue of my existence. That was the problem. For the story that my inner child told itself got pumped by my broken heart to every single part of my body and placed a warden there. My warden called my defense mechanism had the job of protecting me. What he wanted to do was honorable. What he actually did was trap me with my pain and suffering.
Here's what my warden and yours need to know. A story is just a story. It is nothing more than a mental construct, only one of many possible explanations, about our experience in life. This morning, as I felt those familiar feelings and my warden chimed in, I reflected on what Martha Beck said. "Create a story that helps."
You see, the story that followed me from childhood wasn't helping me. It was keeping me stuck and unable to fully enjoy all that Life had to offer. As I laid there, revisiting my pain story once more, I heard Martha in my head. Who was your help?, I asked myself. As I scoured the details of the story for answers, I noticed for the first time someone who was a part of the story but whom I regarded as nothing more than a sidebar. It was Mr. Bell.
Mr. Bell was the gentle giant who took care of me. He listened to me without making me feel bad. He heard me. He changed his plans to take me back home. He made me feel safe. He treated me with dignity and respect so much and so that he honored my wishes that he not walk me into the house. He saw me. From a distance, he watched over me as I walked up the street and back inside the house. I mattered.
These were important details that my story left out. As this realization saturated my story, I felt his loving presence for the first time in 52 years. This morning, my saber tooth tiger was defeated. Beside Mr. Bell, that roaring tiger was nothing more than a purring kitten.
Who is your Mr. Bell? Who is that someone who saw you even when you couldn't see yourself? Who intervened at a critical time in your life? If you can recall that person, I want you to give them a prominent place in your story. And if you can't recall anyone ever being a Mr. Bell for you, then I want you to look in the mirror. Take a long hard look. Staring back at you is Mr. Bell. You are the hero of your story. You are the person that has taken care of you. Despite everything that happened in your life that was unpleasant, the person in that mirror was in the trenches with you every step of the way. So what if you didn't get it right every time! So what! You were important enough for a Higher Will to sustain you and to ensure your survival. YOU MATTER!
That's who your story should be about. That's the story that I invite you to tell yourself now. I want you to take out some paper and a pen and write your Mr. Bell story. Read your story every day for 21 days. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, schedule a free Power 15 consultation or tell me what happens in the comments below. I want to hear from you!