"LIVE LIFE AS IF EVERYTHING IS RIGGED IN YOUR FAVOR." - RUMI
I love this quote because it pretty much sums up one of the biggest revelations I've learned over the years. While on the surface it seems simplistic to imagine that life, the universe, God, etc. has your best interest at heart, it can still be hard to believe when bad things happen. Many of us have had life experiences and crap circumstances that seem absolutely contradictory to this and also largely outside of our control.
However, as adults we now have the capacity to more fully curate the experiences, circumstances, and the life we want to create. How so? Good question. We, whether we know it or not, have full authority over our thoughts, the words we say, and the choices we make. These are the things that shape what we experience.
Sometimes what's standing in the way of us living our best lives is that we still, perhaps unintentionally, hold on to the past. Through our previous experiences we've developed thinking habits, thought patterns and narratives to deal with the rough spots. Our brain continually creates automatic responses to certain circumstances, people and situations (both good and bad). Now, as adults, we can look at those habitual responses and see if we're responding in a way that truly suits our needs.
Accept the past, but don't get stuck in that old story.
That story can be a self-defeating loop that prevents you from being your most grown and fabulous self. We can't change the past, but we can decide how we'd like to move forward. Once that first step is complete, it's time to start changing that narrative by becoming aware of the story we tell ourselves (both internally and to other people) and begin the re-write where necessary.
Second, recognize that we are not our thoughts. Once we understand that some of our thoughts aren't doing us any favors, we can intentionally create new ways to think about ourselves and change how we talk about our experience. In the article Victim to Victor, there's a crazy story about how the writer didn't realize she was creating her own drama until someone else pointed it out.
So, what happens when we start to own and be responsible for every situation we find ourselves in? While it may sound completely unreasonable, this perspective may actually give us the freedom to control how we show up in life, empower us to create opportunities that we previously thought impossible, and help navigate around situations, people and mindsets that no longer serve us. If so much of how we experience our life has to do with how we tell our story - why not make it a good one.
"Your narrative identity is the story of your life; but it's more than just a story. How you understand your narrative frames both your current actions and your future goals." - Bill George