We all have a story.
And the degree to which we live out that story, is up to us. It’s in our control. Sometimes it may feel like the only thing that we actually have control of.
I was on a refresher call the other night, with my Kula and Coby Kozlowski, and she mentioned a theme that was discussed during her absolutely life-changing self-development yoga retreat: Quarter Life Calling (for those of you who know a twenty-something that needs a bit of guidance, it’s held at Kripalu in Massachusetts, and Esalen in California – and it’s 100% worth it) – that we are ultimately responsible for our own suffering, and conversely, our own happiness. Hear me out. I don’t mean we are responsible for the terrible things that may have happened to us in our lives, the trauma, abuse, neglect, self-medicating, codependency…the list goes on. But what we are responsible for, is how our daily actions and decisions contribute to the quality of our life. Do we continue to repeat patterns that only keep us in our suffering? Or do we choose something different, something that brings us closer towards happiness – and maybe not even happiness, perhaps contentment, or just less suffering.
Coby used the analogy that our suffering is like a jail cell, and we are wearing the key around our neck and the door to our cell isn’t even locked – and instead of just opening that door, we choose to stay there. At first I thought, well that’s ridiculous, who would consciously choose to be unhappy? But then I realized, that for a long time, I was doing that exact thing. I was stuck in a habit of choosing things that contributed to my own suffering; each time I made the same choice, repeated the same pattern, even though I knew the outcome totally sucked! Was I punishing myself? Perhaps? Or maybe that cliché saying is true, and I needed to repeat the situation until I learned the lesson from it – the lesson being, choose differently.
So why do we do this?
I’m sure there are a lot of reasons. I’m not a licensed therapist by any means, so this is entirely my opinion. Change is hard – and when we choose to do something we haven’t done before there are a lot of things that could happen. When you choose the same path, knowing the outcome, even if the outcome sucks, we at least know what’s going to happen. But I also think that because we have lived with our story for so long (maybe even our whole life), it becomes a big part of how we identify. It’s scary to think about who we would be if we aren’t ‘the person who….’ But maybe! Maybe we don’t even realize that we don’t have to be that person in our story anymore! So give yourself permission to let your story be just a chapter. Because every second of every minute of every of every hour of every day is a chance to begin again. A chance to show up in the world in the way you want to be, instead of how you have defaulted to. Just because you’ve been living in your story doesn’t mean you have to continue to.
So I ask you, are you ready to begin a new chapter?