Owning Your Story

woman in old library, owning your story

Of course your story belongs to you. But that’s different from owning your story. That requires more than copyright.

Samaritan woman's well Nablus, owning your story
Samaritan Woman’s Well, Nablus, OPT

You need to accept the good and bad parts.

Those elements are your creation. You run this life you live. In the past year, I’ve thought a lot more about what it means to embrace the narrative of my life. Now that I’ve entered into a new decade of my life, I’d like to start on stronger footing. And that process always begins at home.

You are the creator of Creative and Real stories.

Just as you write a short story, so you also write the lines of your own life. This isn’t always easy to accept. Cue thoughts of your most embarrassing/shameful/wish-that-hadn’t-happened moments. Squirming a little? Yeah, me too. But what you do with those moments are steps in creating your present reality.

For a long while, I lived in a state of deprivation. I didn’t allow myself to fully extend my “wings” of ability. Might as well have chained them, so heavy was the burden of expectation and fear. Fear. I was so often afraid. Of being the wrong kind of person. Letting people down. Or, worst of all, not being worthy of forgiveness when I made mistakes.

Heroes are made in hard moments.

Authors know well that characters must go through trials to highlight their best qualities. And in the midst of the struggle, uglier parts of who they are come forward. Trust me when I say that this isn’t my favorite moment in the writing process. I care about my characters and always wince when I talk about their weaknesses. But, it makes them human. Believable. Someone we can all relate with.

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person that could be a hero. Someone that does what is right, regardless. When I let people down, it hurts me. Oh yeah, I definitely struggle with being a people-pleaser. I’m getting better, though. When I look at those unsavory moments in my life, I give them a little “kiss on the nose.” I bless the opportunities they provided me for learning. And give thanks that I’m no longer that person.

The end of one story isn’t the end of them all.

A book can end without telling the whole story. That’s what series are for. In the same sense, our lives are episodic. If one of your moments ends poorly, there’s still time to make the next one better. Don’t lose hope when your story goes awry. Seize the moment, give it a burst of courage, and shift its course.

Also, life has unlimited “phone-a-friend” opportunities. Funny as it sounds, I hope the point is clear: ask for help. If you need it, get support. No shame in that. We were created for community, not isolation. I would include professional help in this category, too. I know counseling has done wonders for me.

Going forward, my message is this: let your life be one of great courage and care. It’s why I sign my messages that way.

In Courage & Care,

Samantha

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