I've done the meditation, I've done the free writing, and I'm struggling. What if I don't have a story? That sounds impossible, right? Everyone has a story.
As close as I've come to my story is my experience with the long, hard, lesson of rule-breaking.
I wasn't the best student, but I was decent. I wasn't a perfectionist, but I was bent on the approval of others. There were social and life rules to follow: do well in school, go to college, graduate, get a job, pair up, get a house, and I even did all those things, and in the end, nothing felt like me. So I fucked it all up. I lost faith in myself as an effective and functional person. I lost love, and gave up on trying to make that work. I CHOSE not to stay in my job, because while I knew I was close to what I wanted to do with my life, I was miserable. That wasn't how I wanted to serve people, inspire, support people. I stayed in an unemployed and deeply ashamed holding pattern for 5 years.
It was as if I'd ghosted myself. I didn't show up for me.
I just didn't show up.
Just last year I began to rebuild myself.
I started small. I curated my social media feeds to deliver me more positivity. I followed new pages, new groups, more comedy. I made some high vibe friends by seeking out these groups, and beginning to participate. For supporting others the way I wanted to be supported, and without expectation. I met some life coaches, and realized- I have a cognitive-behavioral therapy background, I was, I am, a therapist.
*I* can do coaching.
Was this the freedom I had wanted in my career as a counselor? Yes, it was. With this, I didn't need to satisfy the superfluous requirements of agencies more concerned with billable hours than results. I could serve, and make an impact, I could reach people that need what I have to give.
I began doing more of the inner work, knowing that I would never be someone to talk the talk alone. That wouldn't be in integrity with my values. I needed to put myself out in the world more, feeling the fear, but doing it anyway. I learned that I didn't need to be fearless, I needed to have courage. I needed to give myself the support that I'd always sought from others. I needed to break the rules of living, and write my own guidelines for success. I needed to be adaptable. I needed to flow.
I learned that every last bit of this is a practice. We have to wake up every day and do these important things, live these important concepts, intentionally, and with gratitude.
It turns out I do have a story. I just needed to let my heart write it.