I am, at my core, a storyteller. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I think we all have a story. We all have a family of origin. We all have some blend of disappointments and accomplishments, loves and hates, comforts and discomforts.
It explains why I still sometimes cringe away from someone moving a quick hand and love the smell of orange-spiced tea. It might explain why the sound of moving water comforts or frightens you. Why the smell of cherry pipe smoke makes you smile or spikes your heart rate.
But that mishmash of singularities is only a sliver of who we are right now. Our stories certainly influence, mold, and shape, but we also all have a choice. That bears repeating.
In the here and now, you and I have a choice in how we respond to our backstory.Tweet This
Your habits in choosing form your reality. Choose bitterness, sorrow, melancholy long enough and that is what your life will be.
The good news is that the converse is also true. Making a daily habit of goodness and love changes our present and future stories into a tale of joy—despite our backstory.
And our habits are what sustain—choosing to step into nature, choosing to appreciate, choosing joy, peace, thankfulness. These are the core parts of character that hold us up when life’s fury blows.
That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
Don’t we wish to live a life that is forward-facing and strong in weakness?
I fully recognize that not looking over my shoulder isn’t easy, but, as my daughter’s physical therapist says, “You tend to go where you’re looking.” In this case, he means that if you look at the ground when relearning to walk, you’re more likely to fall flat on your face.
But perhaps his words apply to more than just therapy. Perhaps, like in therapy, it is the direction we face in life that makes such a difference. Perhaps we find ourselves best when we forget what is behind, strain toward what is ahead, and press on toward the goal to win the prize.*Tweet This
*St. Paul in Philippians 3.