One of the most important coping mechanisms that all human beings possess is to create elaborate stories about life events. These stories often run in the background of your unconscious mind and significantly impact the way you see yourself and the world around you.
In the TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™ framework, we call these stories your Drama Stories. The drama stories, when active, keep you living in the past, pre-occupied with your interpretations of prior events.
The stories may not have happened just as you remember. It is possible to update drama stories as Donna did in the personal story she shares below. She learned it is never too late to have a happy childhood!
I (Donna) can laugh now about a childhood story that ran my life for decades. Here’s the event—-and the story about that event—-that I told myself:
I was 5 years old and the carnival had just come to our small town. This once-a-year event was the most exciting day of the year for me. I was dressed and ready to go when my parents suddenly got very angry at me for some unknown reason and wouldn’t let me go to the carnival. All these years I held a story that my parents misunderstood me and unfairly punished me. I created a story that if I expressed my emotions, the things I want in life will be taken away from me.
A few years ago when visiting my parents, I asked them if they remember the time they wouldn’t wouldn’t let me go to the carnival.
I said, “Mom, Dad, do you remember when I was really young and you wouldn’t let me go to the carnival?” Mom immediately said, “I sure do. For some unknown reason you suddenly threw a fit and declared you were not going to go to the carnival. We pleaded with you and couldn’t figure out what made you so mad.”
My mom continued. “Because you insisted on not going to the carnival, Dad had to stay home with you and it interrupted our family plans.”
I was stunned. I sat there with my mouth gaping open. I had totally made up a story and held it as “true”!
I was lucky that my kind parents were still alive when I was ready to let go of feeling victimized by this story. Mom’s firsthand information allowed me to become a Creator of my future, unencumbered by the past.
Like many people, Donna carried childhood stories that limited her self-image and what was possible. Her story kept her stuck in a past that didn’t happened—it only happened in her little girl’s mind.
Your childhood memories may be painful, but they don’t have to rule your life (even if you do remember them exactly as they happened).
- Recall now one of your childhood drama stories.
- How can you re-frame what you know about your childhood to create a happier or more empowered story?
- What are you willing to let go of so the new TED* story can emerge?
As you let go of old stories that may have been running your life, feel the new sense of freedom and ease, as Donna did, and allow the empowered adult that wants to emerge in you, blossom.
It is never too late to have a happy childhood and choose to be the Creator of your own life!