Man, I missed out when I was a kid…
Sometimes when we go back and think about what it was like growing up – it can evoke memories that we feel we were in some way, disadvantaged. It may have been because we were the youngest, oldest or middle child and therefore we didn’t get our voice heard. Or whether we feel we missed out on something and therefore as a kid we felt scared, embarrassed or hurt. Whatever the let down you felt as a kid or growing up, know that, that event has passed and if it hasn’t passed, if you’re still hurt or upset, you’re holding onto a ‘story’ that gives you comfort but is preventing you from realising your God-given gift and purpose.
Do I have a “Woe is Me Story”?
Whether we realise it or not, we all have a ‘story’ that we hold onto for comfort, for e.g. I’m too old, too thin, too young, too inexperienced, too trusting, too ……….etc. (feel free to fill in the blank).
Now, these ‘woe is me stories’ are helpful to us because if we don’t achieve something (the dream job, the degree, the direction etc.) the ‘woe is me story’ that we hold near and dear to us acts as our scapegoat, our reason, our justification of why we missed out on something or why we couldn’t achieve or gain that ‘thing’ we were after.
The ‘woe is me story’ could read something along the lines of:
“Well, if I was given the same amount of attention and encouragement as my sister, I too would have been able to be just as smart and successful”
“The reason I’m not where I want to be in my career is because I was given wrong advice by my teacher”
“I keep getting stuck with crappy managers”
“I’m just too old to consider a new career”
“The economy is in a slump, I’ll never get the job I want, or in the location I want”
etc. etc. Get my drift? ‘woe is me’.
Just because the ‘woe is me story’ is true….does it really help me?
Now, your ‘story’, may have truth in it. Maybe your sister was given more attention than you, maybe your teacher did give bad advice and yes there are definitely horrible managers. BUT as long as you hold onto the ‘woe is me story’ as an excuse as to WHY you couldn’t progress, that ‘story’ now becomes the cause of you, holding yourself back.
The choice is this, we can either acknowledge an upsetting situation, address it, see the God given lesson in it and move forward or we can hold onto the ‘self-pity woe is me story’ of how the sister, teacher, manager, our age etc. got in our way and indulge in the ‘woe is me’, self-pity mindset. But truthfully, it’s not the manager, the teacher, or the economy or location or anything or anyone else that’s in our way, it’s our own self using the repetition of the ‘story’ that’s in the way of our own progress, and if that story is in the way it prevents us from achieving our own highest vision for ourselves.
At some level that ‘story of woe is me’ is constantly re-playing our minds, it’s because it buys us comfort, maybe not consciously, but definately unconsciously.
It’s a Cover-Up
You see, the ‘woe is me story’ acts as a cover-up for us to escape responsibility and gives us permission blame someone or something outside of ourselves for not reaching our potential, being left behind or not having something – it’s a cop out.
How you choose to interpret your story can either light a pathway for you and lead you to your passion/Gift or it can keep you in the dark and disgruntled because the ‘story’ that keeps getting repeated in your head (of why you can’t or couldn’t do something) shuts out the light of clear direction.
When you erase the ‘woe is me story’, (notice, I didn’t say lose the story, when we lose things like car keys we want to find it, right? Better to erase the story).
So, when you erase the story and replace it with the lesson that you gained, your pathway to your passion is lit up because you can finally breathe and get back control of your mind (rather than the story having control) and ‘see’ the road ahead, rather than the roadblocks.
The only time the “woe is me story” is useful…
Do you have a ‘story’ that’s blocking you? Do you have a comfort story? Do you have a I’m too fat, too thin, too old, too young, my kids, my husband, my wife etc. story? A story that puts the blame on someone or something else and by doing so gives you comfort and relieves you of responsibility? Yes, it is a bitter pill to admit to, but you don’t need to admit it to anyone but yourself and see how your using that ‘story’ to detour your progress. What story/stories do you play and replay in your mind?
The only time the ‘woe is me story’ can help you, is if you use it to motivate and progress yourself forward to create a greater good. If it brings you down – find the lesson in the story and keep reminding yourself of that lesson, rather than the story itself.
Let’s take a look at it through an analogy
What if before you drove your car first thing in the morning, stead of fuel you grabbed a fistful of dirt, dried leaves and debris and stuffed it into the fuel tank?
Now, this is neither healthy for the car and forget trying to start the engine, let alone drive it.
If you saw somebody actually doing this, you would think they were mad, right? And I would agree with you.
Our ‘woe is me story’ is the equivalent to the dirt, dried leaves and debris that gets repeated in our mind. How can our mind or our car accelerate and perform at even a basic level when the wrong ingredients are being poured in?
Wouldn’t we be seen as mad for putting the wrong ingredients in our mind just like the fuel tank?
You see, our words, emotions, internal mind pictures and internal dialogue (and external) creates the ‘woe is me story’. Whatever we think about all day pours as ingredients into our mind – now when our story is oiled with ingredients of hurt, upset, frustration, the direction of your passion is blocked and we continue to go round and round in circles because we can’t think or see past our attachment to ‘our story’.
To get the fuel for our mind, replace the ‘woe is me story ‘with the lesson of the story and now you can accelerate. We all have been given the gift of life and we have too much to do to get blocked by the dirt, dried leaves and debris, we’d be mad to put that stuff into the fuel tank so shouldn’t we stop putting it into our minds as well?
So if you find yourself saying, “why isn’t this working out”, “this always happens”, or “why can’t I do this” etc. Check in with the story that’s being re-played in your mind. Chances are, you’ll find your answer there.
Do you have a ‘story’ that’s blocking you? Do you have a comfort story? Do you have a I’m too fat, too thin, too old, too young etc. story? What story/stories do you play and replay in your mind? What’s the lesson in it for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.