What I Discovered While Sorting thru Boxes of Childhood Memories
I encourage you to stop living in a trance and start telling the truth. Yet another reason to stop living through the lens of your story is because there are often gems of wisdom hidden in the blindspots your story creates. I was reminded of this last week when I went home to Dallas to sort through and purge boxes of my childhood memories.
We were filled with nostalgia as my sister and I emptied tubs and tubs of yearbooks, stuff animals, letters, school projects, arts and crafts, awards, ribbons, and an endless supply of 80’s accessories (I could seriously have a retro party and supply everyone with sunglasses, earrings, headbands and legwarmers). Each item that we discovered triggered a memory that was tucked away and a story that hadn’t been told in a while.
My sister’s greatest found treasure was her “blankie” – a soft pink blanket with a satin trim that was her most prized possession as a child. She took it everywhere with her and threw a fit whenever she was separated from it (like those rare times my mom was able to pry it away to wash it). Her blankie eventually got pretty dirty, tattered and worn out but it didn’t matter to her. She held onto it no matter what because it brought her a great sense of comfort.
That’s what our stories are like. We cling to them like a lifeline no matter how “dirty, tattered and worn out” they are because they are comforting. The familiarity of our story, despite the fact that it may not be serving our growth, keeps us hanging onto it for dear life. So much so that we often take all the amazing things about ourselves that come naturally for granted.
The greatest treasure I found in my memorabilia boxes were stacks of my High School English papers. As I read through them I was so blown away by the content that I asked my dad if I really wrote them or if he helped me. He smiled and said, “All I did was proofread, the rest was all you – you were always a writer, dear.” Frankly I was quite impressed with my fourteen-seventeen year old self – she actually was an incredible writer and had a passionate point of view about many things.
This may not seem surprising given that I am author of two books and have been blogging weekly for six years; however, my gift of writing was not something I truly discovered until my late twenties after I left an entirely different career. As an adolescent, I was already hypnotized by a story that I was unlikable that I created after being teased in middle and elementary school. Thus I chased after external success to “prove my worth” and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in the entertainment industry (which is like the adult version of the popular crowd I longed to be a part of as a teenager). My story was scripted largely on insecurities and no matter how successful I became as a TV literary agent, I still felt empty inside.
My choices were motivated by my story rather than by truest, deepest gifts and desires. And because I was so hypnotized by my story, I had forgotten the beautiful gems of my past that were huge clues as to what my passion was. It wasn’t until I was willing to rip away the blanket of my story that I rediscovered my true gifts, one of which was writing.
This is what happens when we are hiding underneath the perceived security blanket of our story: we loose sight of our unique gifts and talents. Your story has been creating blind spots in your life such that you are not able to see all the clues the Uni-verse has been and continues to give you about who you really are and what you truly love.
Your story is holding you back! CHOOSE to pry it away so that you can see what is underneath. Take a stroll down memory lane and instead of filling the tour with all the stuff that happened that you didn’t like, go on a treasure hunt!
Look for clues as to what your unique passion is by:
- Recalling what you loved to do and why you loved it
- Remembering what came naturally to you
- Considering what kind of experiences you had that taught you priceless lessons.
Your purpose has ALWAYS been within you. You have unique gifts and talents and the Uni-verse will always conspire WITH you to find the forms to express them as soon as you stop wrapping yourself up in the comfortable blanket of your story!!
There are gems of wisdom to discover within you.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.