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12.01.2015

The Power of the Stories We Tell Ourselves

I love listening to Michael Hyatt's This Is Your Life podcast. Season six, episode three is called "Change Your Story, Change Your Life" and is all about the narrator voice in our head, and how to deal with the story your narrator tells you.

One of the key things I took away was the idea that we need to write down the negative comments from our narrator, and determine whether that voice gives power to your life, or if it is just being ridiculous. Once you recognize it for what it is, you have the opportunity to re-write your narrative voice, and give life to that story.

I am so guilty of allowing my fears, my insecurities, and other feelings to write my internal monologue. It goes a little something like this...

Self, we should start taking classes to finish that Bachelor's Degree we want so badly.
Oh, but you're way too old for that, and you have a little girl to think about. Do you want to be an absent mom? Do you want her to remember Mama playing with her, or do you want her to remember Mama with her nose in a book all the time? Won't she grow up feeling like her best is never good enough, if Mama was always pushing herself?
But Self, we're doing this for her too. So we can have a better life...
 Really? You want to deny part of this is about your own personal ambition, to finish what YOU started and didn't complete? This is really all about you; stop fooling yourself.

And on, and on, and on... my internal narrator finds a way to make everything somehow selfish, somehow about my own ambitions and nothing more, and that if I were a Good Christian Person I would simply plow along the row I am in, working hard and not focusing on moving too far out of my own line, for fear I might somehow be greedy or overly ambitious or not a good wife or mother or daughter or whatever it is I am doing at the moment.

Yet somehow, I think God makes us for "more than this" - we have this desire to do more, and be more, and give more, and love more, and grow ourselves larger than we can imagine, because what is the greater demonstration of God's love than to allow it to overflow in your life, and give out of that abundance.

I stink at filling my own cup. I'm lousy at sharpening my saw. But what I learn more and more as the years go by is that I cannot keep filling someone else's cup when my own is empty. What I pass along is less than my best, and if I want to keep passing along the best to others, then I need to keep my own cup full of good things.

That's the real lesson I want to teach my daughter and my bonus daughter. Take time to take care of yourself. Remember it's not selfish to do what you need to do for yourself. You only have one body - treat it well. You only have one mind - feed it all the information you can. You only have one soul - give it the best of your time. If you can't do those things, what you give to others will be less than your best.