“Divorce your story, marry the truth.” -Tony Robbins
At some point in the evolution of our individual selves, we start to buy into our “story;” the perception of who we are as mirrored by others, as well as the idea of who we are that we cultivate ourselves. That story becomes something we aspire to, who we strive to be and, sometimes, that story becomes a heavy weight on our shoulders when we fall short of the expectations that have been set.
What’s my story? Here’s a quick rundown of my perception of what others might see: A middle-aged woman, happily married, a loving mom, a hard worker, a people person, someone who is upbeat, loves food, is insecure, has a self-deprecating sense of humor, who is loyal, has been through some hard times, is popular, confident and compassionate. (Positive spin always.)
Here’s my truth: I’m tired, rundown, constantly questioning, searching, is unsure, burnt out and resolutely positive in the face of adversity. The act of picking myself up and dusting myself off to move forward, is my M.O.
Now, take your story and reveal your truths:
Am I happily married? In short, yes. I am in love with my husband, definitely. But we are a continual work in progress, who constantly circle back with one another and put forth a helluva an effort to stay together and work through issues and focus on love. “Happily” reminds me of a descriptive word in a fairy tale. Marriage is not a fairy tale. It’s a commitment that requires a lifelong adjustment for two people to stay connected as they themselves evolve. It’s the hardest, but most worthwhile relationship, ever.
Am I a loving Mom? Absolutely. My kids are my greatest joy and ultimately my greatest worry day to day, but I’m learning to have faith, let go and be okay with seeing them figure life out.
Am I a hard worker? I have an excellent work ethic, but I get bored very quickly. I give myself props for constantly leaving my comfort zone–professionally speaking–but it’s not easy on the mind, heart and body. Huge amounts of stress falling on my face is not my idea of a happy place. I lead with confidence, whether it’s real or not and am either secretly laughing or crying on the inside. I probably do more of that Lamaze breathing in my 50’s then I ever did during pregnancy. “Deep breaths…now move forward.”
Am I a people Person? I grew up in a place of deep insecurity, and needed friends in a big way. Early on, I found great relief when I realized I could fill my proverbial cup with love and friendships. To be a good friend is a badge of honor. It’s really taken me a long time to understand that I deserve friendship and generosity back. I also realized that it’s not quantity but quality. Life is very short in the grand scheme of things, so I dialed down the energy and friendships I cultivated over the year (and not because I didn’t care about those very people, but I realized that many of these friends did not bring me joy). This was a tremendous leap, to start cutting ties, and to limit the time spent on Facebook, planning reunions, constantly calling people and checking in and creating reasons to get together. I do love people, but I want key relationships in my life. My life looks and feels vastly different now than it did a year ago. Making changes on this level really took a leap of faith in myself and what I needed to be healthy and happy.
My truth is that I struggle day to day to be true to myself; to trust my gut and to make good choices. My truth is that I have an addictive personality that has led to issues in my life and, in many ways, has led me to feel shameful about myself because those types of “secrets” were so painful that I was fearful of not being loved if I shared them. That, in and of itself, is a tragedy. Life is beautiful when we live our truths. And when we have fears and secrets, it’s important that we share them and get them out in the open with our loved ones, so we can keep moving forward in life. Otherwise, we are stuck in our own closet of shame and misery and life won’t evolve and we will fall short of becoming all that we were meant to be.
I’ve had to divorce my own story. The story looked so nice from the outside and, yes, there were many blessings to be grateful for, but the truth is needed more. Wave the white flag of life and say, life is not perfect and I am not satisfied or thriving where I am.
Tony Robbins got it right. “Divorce your story, marry the truth.” There is a clarity in the truth that will forever set you free.