It’s Time for a New Story

A few weeks ago, a friend gave a talk at The Celebration, my spiritual community, and she talked about changing your story in order to move forward. I’ve heard this before and have even suggested it to people, but this time it really hit home, and I asked myself, “What does one have to do in order to accomplish this?”

I immediately thought about the book I have been writing for the last two years about my journey to physical, emotional, and financial health. This story has been difficult for me to write because, along the way, I passed through many interesting but uncomfortable dramas. I realized that the time had come to finish the story.

For the next week, I worked on the book with the goal of finishing it by my December 30 birthday. The toughest part was recounting the story of when I had to close the business that I loved so much, Joan’s Crystals, and declare bankruptcy (in 1989). As I wrote, I was filled with emotion, but knew I was finally reaching the point where I could let go of the painful memory.

As I read through the book one more time, I clearly saw a pattern that I had lived through over and over again. I would find myself in financial trouble and ask my parents or my brother, Marc, for help. What I realized this time, as I reread the story, was that I had lived the story of a wounded little girl who knew no other way to reach out and say, “Please touch me.”

As I experienced the feelings, I understood that the wounded little girl was still playing a part in creating my life stories and keeping me from reaching my full potential. In order to maintain her identity, I had to hold myself back. Even though I have experienced a healthy level of success, there have been a lot of ups and downs and I’ve always had the feeling that I need to hide part of me.

At that moment, I realized that I no longer had to hold onto or live, in any way, the story of the wounded little girl. I also realized how much power we have to create whatever story is necessary to express our deepest, hidden emotions. I knew this before, but this time I understood it on a deep, cellular level.

Joan SotkinYears ago, I drew a picture of “Joanie” as a wizard – holding a crystal wand, of course. The picture has been on my altar for the last year, and now I see that the playful wizard is volunteering to be in charge. The story has changed, and I look forward to its unfolding. What a great way to start the year!

So now I’d like to ask you, what story have you been living that you would like to change? Is there your wounded inner child running the show and holding onto beliefs and emotions that no longer hold true? Are you willing to step out of that familiar role into one that may be filled with uncertainty because you don’t know how it’s going to play out?

Inside of you is a healthy adult waiting to express itself. That part of you knows what to do in order for you to succeed, but in order for it to be in charge, you have to be willing to let go of the emotions behind your old story. You can keep the narrative, if it’s a good story, but let go of the pain and fill yourself with forgiveness and gratitude instead.

And most importantly, reach out and connect to others, especially those who are willing to see your light, your talent, and the value you bring to the world.