Everyone has a life story - you don't get to be on this earth for any length of time without one. Everyone's story is different, but what they all have in common is - no matter who you are or where you live, both good and bad things will have happened to you. The scale and the quantity varies from person to person but there is no perfect life.
POOR ME, POOR ME
When my life felt like it was going to Hell in a handbasket, all I could see were the bad things that were happening to me. The story playing in my head was "Poor me, poor me" over and over again. As I focused on the negatives, that was all I seemed to see - it reinforced the story to me that my life was a mess, people sucked, and the future looked pretty dismal indeed.
Good things were still happening, but they were being overshadowed by the the cascade of Unfortunate Events occurring at the time. When I looked at my life it didn't delight my heart to say the very least. What I needed to do was turn my story around and to do that I had to connect the dots differently.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Dot connection is something my husband talks about with Cognative Bias, basically.....if our life events were marked as dots on a page, we join up the ones that fit in with our belief system and they make up our story. The dots are good, bad or indifferent events, we choose which ones we focus on and as we connect them, they define us.
I needed to look at the page of my life from a different perspective, so I started looking for the "happier" dots and turning myself towards them - connecting them together and choosing not to spend all my time looking at the sadder dots. This little chart shows a group of dots connected in three different ways that result in three different stories - same dots, different connections, different outcomes and emotions.
CHOOSING MY STORY
I've seen people who focus on how hard done by they are - they are the people who suck the light and joy out of every conversation. They tell the same sad stories over and over and they become victims of those stories. I don't deny for a moment that they have had it tough, but they've let that define them - I didn't want to be defined by the dots of those Unfortunate Events.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
The answer to the "Where do I go from here?" question buzzing around in my head was to choose my own story. I chose to learn some lessons, I chose to share my story and not hide it behind a veneer of "my life is perfect", I chose to make some changes, to move forward, to change gears, and get on with things. "Count your many blessings name them one by one" is part of an old hymn but it has a very strong element of truth to it. There are always blessings if we look for them and the more we focus on those, the bad stuff becomes less looming and overpowering.
It's not an overnight fix - you can't do a 180 degree turn in two seconds and become Little Miss Sunshine-Peace,Love and Vegetables-Pollyanna in a flash, but I found some silver linings and they made all the difference. The ones I couldn't find, I set about creating. I'm writing my own story day by day and connecting the positive dots rather than the negative ones is making a huge difference. How's your story going?