IT’S MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT.
History is really on my mind now with Black History month just passed, Women’s History in March this month & in own birthday coming up soon. All of these make me reflect what history and heroes really are. In the midst of living our lives we don’t often see the things we are doing with much appreciation of they really mean.
For many of us, when we think of our own history, it appears to be a story of missed opportunities, wrong turns and failures.Yet when we learn about others people’s history,we often see their struggles as very important parts of the story. But of course, living thru those challenges doesn’t seem very inspiring at the time.
Just doing what needs to be done.
Just doing what needs to be done seems very ordinary when you are the one doing it but very important to the people it affects. Rosa Parks said she just wanted to sit down on the bus after a long day at work. Betty Friedan just wrote a book ( The Feminine Mystique ) about housewives like herself that help to start the Women’s movement
Her “cloudy lens” story.
Recently a client gave a great example of how our own views are often cloudy.
She had quit her unfulfilling job to start her own business when her husband was laid off. She tried to keep her business going but soon realized that it was not going to support her family and the stress was causing lots of problems. So she went back to her previous profession to get some money coming in and put her dream of her own business on hold.
Like so many of us, she felt she was just “doing what needed to be done”.
Yet, as she told me her story, it was filled with self-criticism of what she should have done and the mistakes she felt she had made. She was crying as she told it.
I suggested that she was seeing it thru a “cloudy lens” ‘and that she could
re-write her story to focus on the effect of what she had done…saving her family. And that is a very big deal to them.
My own history and inheritance.
I know this story very well as my mother did the same thing. She went to work for the first time at age 42 and eventually opened a business as a way to support us when my father became ill. Her courage and willingness to do “what needed to be done ” are the best inheritance I have.
A New Story
As I retold my client’s story, from new point of view, her tears stopped and she begin to smile.
“What a gift…and a relief- to see it thru other eyes. I never thought of it that way. I think I’ll change my story,” she said.
This long-term effect is huge…. Rosa Parks just sat on a bus, Betty Friedan just wrote a book, but both of these ordinary acts changed our lives.
What Heros Are
Hero are not born, I think, but are often ordinary people who just do what needs to be done and in doing that, give the rest of us a much different and better history.
So I hope you will write yourself a new story.
I’d love to hear it.
So that’s my story and I ‘m sticking to it.
And I hope you will too.