If you think about your life ”“ actually don’t do that! That’s what’s causing so many problems! But the truth is, if you took a moment and examined the reasons why you might be unhappy right now, it’s almost always because of something we think should be different in our lives.
The biggest cause of unhappiness is the belief that we’re currently missing something in our lives that we need in order to be happy. A boyfriend. A job. Lots of money. A new President. A new home or car. A better agent. A vacation. If we had that thing that’s missing, we’d be happy.
That’s some weird-ass story we’ve all been telling ourselves for a long time. And it makes each of us feel frustrated, unfulfilled, angry, resentful and nullifies all the great things you’ve already accomplished and are still wanting to explore and create. Plus it constantly puts your happiness in some future thing or event or person.
So ask yourself, “What if that thought or story I most often tell myself just didn’t exist?”
What might your life be like without it?
It only exists in your head anyway. No one else has that story of you, because everyone else is walking around with made-up stories of their own. That’s how insane we all are at one level. We’re all living in some sort of bizarre fiction.
So who would you be and how would you feel about yourself and what might you do without the story that gives you the hardest time in your life? We have many ”“ but you know the ones ”“ they’re generally full of blame and resentment; victimization and limitation.
Rewrite the story. At some level the story came out of a memory of some past event that you’ve had an impossible time shaking and it’s defined you and limited you. Maybe it’s become your main identity in life. That’s dangerous because you’ll stop at nothing to defend it. But is it a story that makes you feel good? Probably not. I know bad things have happened. To everyone. But the human spirit is a transformative, healing force that gives us the power to not keep reliving the memory in a way that constantly cripples us.
Go to therapy. Talk it out. Let it go. Forgive it. Bless it. Listen for its deeper message. Communicate with the participants who made you feel less than. Forgive them. Reframe the story. Forgive yourself. Find a way to see how it’s actually maybe assisted you on your journey of becoming you.
Ultimately, the memories we have of everything are all in the past. They don’t exist except as a memory trace in our own minds. So if you’re going to recall them ”“ and you’ve done the work to heal through them and transform them ”“ you might as well start recalling them from a position in which you actually win in the retelling of them.
Who would you be without that story? You’d be a winner. Because that’s who you really are anyway. (Except for that persistent story in your head that tells you that you aren’t.)