The Best Place to Start is at the Beginning

I shouldn’t have been surprised when I opened Word, typed “story” into the thesaurus. The first synonym listed is “lie.” And then, of course, there are all the degrees of “lie” including fib, untruth, falsehood, whopper and more. Hmmm…interesting.

This morning I woke up thinking about the power of story which is what prompted me to open my laptop only minutes after putting my feet on the floor. If you’ve been following my blog with any regularity, you know my purpose is to help others release themselves from the bondage that stories can have on us.

Stories can be insidious—the effects of which cause the voice in the back of our heads that reminds us that we’re not good enough, not attractive enough, not smart enough to do the things we want to do, not deserving of the life we desire. The incredible thing is that a good portion of us are oblivious to the fact that the little voice is caused by the shadowy remnants of experiences from our past.

If you’ve read my story in, Let My Legacy Be Love, A Story of Discovery and Transformation: Tracing Adult Issues to Childhood Hurts, you know that I traced many of my stories back to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). And you would also already know that the same is true for so many of us—nearly 70% of the population according to researchers who conducted the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study).  And like me, most people are oblivious to the chains in which they have wrapped themselves. So often when I’m talking with a friend, family member, or co-worker, I am reminded of the Marley Brothers in A Christmas Carol jangling the chains they forged during their lives. Those stories can not only hold us back; they can make our bodies physically sick. Let me share a personal experience with you.

In 2009, I was under nearly unbearable stress. Only months after my husband and I moved to a house in the country that needed significant renovations, he unexpectedly left our relationship. At that same time, I lost my job due to a surprising business move by our biggest client, and this all happened not long after my youngest son left for college. The entire experience felt like the perfect storm. Every single one of my insecurities rose to the surface to chant at me day and night. Within months, I began to experience physical symptoms. One Saturday as my hairdresser was cutting my hair; he lifted a lock over my left ear to ask, “What’s going on here?” He handed me a mirror so that I could see the bald spot just over my left ear. Not one to panic, I made a note to call my naturopath on Monday. But the following morning when I woke up, I noticed my scalp was tingling and sore, and there were at least two dozen hairs laying on my pillow. Later that week, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder which causes baldness. My behavior in the form of repeating negative thoughts and fear caused by the loss of my husband and my job weakened my body causing my hair loss.

Each of us is only human. We often feel fear and anxiety at unexpected occurrences. It’s only natural. But how can we take charge when that little voice doesn’t let us rest? How do we make it stop? Healing is a process so, starting by grabbing that little voice by the shoulders and looking it straight in the eyes is the best way to start.

I am currently in the process of revamping my website to include more information on how you might start to examine your story. I’m also working on starting an online writers’ room where you can share your experiences in a safe environment with one or two others. The experience is not about being a writer. It’s about examining your story. We will help you gain a different, more accurate perspective on it, and soon you’ll be able to help others do the same. So, please stay tuned as I get the process up and running. Let our legacy be love!

#healing #love #process #behavior #letmylegacybelove #negativepatterns #experience

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