Coaching Corner: Oh, the stories!!
By "Coach" Marilou Butcher Roth
We tell ourselves stories on a regular basis -- some good, some not so good. They may be surrounding our careers, our physical bodies or perhaps our relationships. The stories have been spun usually over a substantial period of time and their basis, if even slightly existent, has long gone by the wayside, covered over with the regularity of what we tell ourselves.
We like to blame our parents for some of our not so good stories, our feelings of not enough. Well, perhaps that tiny kernel began in the innocence of our childhood, but as adults, we tend to expand and deepen what began long, long ago.
Today, I would like you to look at some of your own stories that permeate your life and well being, and I will do likewise. Earlier this week, as my husband and I enjoyed a simple dinner of grilled chicken breast and a light salad, I found myself quite taken aback when I chewed onto something hard. As I fished it out of my mouth, what I found appeared to be a crown from my very back tooth, which now hung out, leaving what was left from this fiasco. As it turned out, it was not my crown...it was actually the bigger part of the tooth itself!!! As I sat in the dentist chair, listening to my options, I found tears rolling down my cheeks, which puzzled me.
What prompted this type of emotion? Not pushing against what I was experiencing, I realized that those tears were directly connected to a story of my own -- the story of what happens as you age (as I age). Body parts get weak, including teeth. You begin to lose your stability, physically and mentally...and on and on. Honestly, until that moment, I did not realize I was carrying that story around with me, and now I felt its heavy presence, hanging as the proverbial albatross around my neck.
Here’s the cool part of this, just in case you were feeling bad for me. Having this experience, brought awareness to a story that quite frankly, isn’t mine. There were many of these age stories as I grew up, coming from family members and other adults as well. They spun a web around all of the not so wonderful things that happen as we age. My little self took all of these forebodings into my head, where they lay latent until a very unhappy tooth decided to make a break for it!
Now, I can see what is true for me, and that is that I am vibrant, strong and healthy regardless of my approaching 65th birthday. I can create my story, just as you can create yours. This week, if you are willing, explore your own stories that have come into your life. Are they actually true for you? How can you take your stories and create the life that you want? Awareness is the first step, and remember, its only a story!
And by the way, isn’t there a story that summer is supposed to be hot???!!