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Your Story as You Know It

Our experiences have tremendous power. They help us define ourselves in many ways, and can reinforce whatever we've been taught to believe about ourselves and about our place in the world.

Too often, though, we base our perceptions of ourselves — and our inherent value — not on the truth and what we know is real about ourselves, but on what we allow others, through their own actions, to say about us. And it all goes on inside our own heads.

Imagine a couple of coworkers go out to lunch and don’t invite you to join them. As you watch them walk away, you’re overwhelmed by the same sense of exclusion you felt in junior high school when the “cool kids” made it clear you weren’t good enough (whatever that meant) to sit at their table.

“You were a loser then and you’re a loser now,” you say to yourself (though perhaps not in so many words) as you eat alone at your desk and wait for the pain to subside.

One of the hardest — but most important — things we can do in our lives is to let go of the beliefs we attach to our experiences. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson (in his essay Self Reliance): “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.”

You weren’t a loser in junior high school — no matter what the cool kids said — and you aren't a loser now. What you've been willing to take as fact for all these years is just a piece of someone else's fiction.

If you're going to believe anyone's story about you, believe your own. Because you know better than anyone the truth of who you really are.   

Archive

A Strange Deliberation
    posted 10/19/2015

Stages of Grief
    posted 9/23/2015

What Hurts?
    posted 9/13/2015

Say What You Want (and Need) to Say
    posted 8/30/2015

Not Just a Dog
    posted 7/18/2015

The First Law of Thermodynamics
    posted 6/15/2015

Believing in Happiness
    posted 6/5/2015

A Better ‘Why’
    posted 5/30/2015

Pendulum Wave
    posted 5/27/2015

Your Story as You Know It
    posted 1/24/2015

Lessons of the Fall
    posted 11/20/2014

How the Novel Came to Be
    posted 9/6/2014

Mother’s Day Without the Mother
    posted 9/5/2014

Everlasting Love
    posted 2/10/2005
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