On Taking Responsibility for Our Unhealthy Narratives
We have to be aware of the storylines that our ingrained in our minds and the ways in which we repeat narratives that no longer serve us. We also need to take full responsibility for these stories and reshape new ones that will lead us to more fulfilling lives and relationships. We have more power than we can even imagine to create the lives we want.
This morning I called my dear friend who I have known for 17 years to talk about a recent situation. He knew specifically why I was calling because a few weeks ago he spent hours on the phone with me dissecting this same situation.
"Stop the narrative," he said to me. "You have to ask yourself why you want to keep retelling the same story. Why you're so invested in this specific storyline?"
The story that I keep telling myself is that I am only attracted to unavailable men.
These men are often very different from one another in terms of appearance, personality, profession, etc. but what remains the common thread is their availability or unavailability. It's a certain vibrational frequency that I'm attuned to and to be honest, attracted to. In a room full of available men, I will somehow find the one who will be unavailable, whether that's because of work, a business, being in a relationship, or simply a deep-seated emotional unavailability.
My friend pointed out that it doesn't really matter who the new person might be, but rather than fixate on the specific storyline, why not recreate a new, healthier narrative. He tried to help me understand that it's a dangerous path to go down in reinforcing certain storylines. For me, it's the attraction to the unavailable man and what that man specifically "should" do to make himself available.
The real problem is not the men, although many folks (including myself this morning) want to go down the path of blaming the other person. The real problem is within me, and the solution is also my responsibility.
But that's the harder work. Those questions are more difficult to address and take responsibility for: Why am I attracted to these situations? How does this narrative serve me? What can I do to change this narrative? What needs to be healed and addressed within myself to move beyond this pattern?
The good news is that we are not stuck in our own stories; that would be a terrible place to be. We are active, creative and powerful participants in the narrative that we call our life. I'm so grateful for my friend, for his brutal honesty, for stopping me in an unhealthy pattern and for putting the onus back on me to be more deeply aware of my actions, to take ownership of my own stuck-ness and to move beyond a story that no longer serves me.