“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
I’m trying to figure out my own story – to own my story. It’s not easy. Sometimes, it’s even agonizing. Our stories have this unique quality and ability to create connection and understanding of who we truly are. The better you are at owning your story, the more peaceful and meaningful your life is.
Why is this agonizing at times? If you’re truly honest about self-exploration during your journey, you will come across many aspects and traits about yourself that you will find difficult to accept. You must learn to embrace your shadow. Your shadow is those aspects of self that are kept hidden in the dark and out of awareness. Many of these aspects of self have great holds on your life and actually dictate your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. A metaphor would be a hidden cave in which you keep those parts of yourself that, on an unconscious level, you prefer to avoid or ignore. The shadow includes your deepest fears, shames, regrets, judgments, core beliefs, unconscious contracts/vows, “truths” about life, about others and yourself, as well as your greatest power, your beauty, your sacred and divine self. In other words, the Shadow includes all these things about yourself that “you don’t know that you don’t know” or those things that sit in your subconscious.
The most powerful part of ‘owning’ our story is speaking about the those pieces that make us feel embarrassed or ashamed. Bringing our greatest weaknesses out of the dark and into the light. If we are lucky, there is a certain catharsis in doing so, the sense of a burden being lifted.
“It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster.“
What I’ve discovered is I’ve lost touch with who I’m meant to be, what is in my heart, and what I want. I’ve conformed and I’m not living the life I desire. That wise sage Bette Midler once said, “My greatest fear is being trapped in a show not of my own design.” I get it. By owning my story, I put my name to it — I design it. I become the author and with that I take the role of protagonist; I own it.
If I’m not owning and authoring my story then who is? That is the question …