Trust your story
Examining my own life, I would like to show you how our “failures” or the worst things that have happened to us end up becoming the phone booths that turn Clark Kent into Superman.
I spent nearly a decade in coffee shops writing stories about other people. I created protagonists and cheered them on their hero’s journey as they stayed their dragons and made the return changed. Forever. I gave them capes.
Meanwhile, I was pushing a mail cart in my own life. I was unhappy and just going through the motions. I was running a restaurant bar / club. It was flashy and scenic and people thought I was “successful”. But I was living a false version of myself, seeking approval and validation and didn’t have any real sense of who I was. Deep inside I was unhappy and lost. Or more accurately, hurting.
It wasn’t until my divorce, when I started from scratch that I embarked on the road to rebirth. Sometimes you can’t remodel. There are too many rooms that are fucked up. The house needs to be torn down and built again. And that’s what happened to me. I changed careers. I reconnected with my body through fitness. I made new friends. I bought a motorcycle. Got some tattoos. But my healing didn’t come from those things.
It was embracing my story that created soil for healing.
Most of us want to rip out our chapters. There are things that have happened that are lined with shame, guilt, and regret, things that were beyond our control. And we don’t want anyone to know. We want to forget, ignore, and push away. Because if people knew these things about our story, that would mean we are defective in some way. Less than. But the truth is by not embracing our story fully, everything that has happened to us, “good” or “bad”, we are denying ourselves. This is a form of self rejection.
Whenever we are rejecting ourselves, we are preventing the healing process.
So if you want to start to heal, you have to start accepting your story. As you accept your story and begin to embrace it by sharing it with others, your story becomes powerful, bigger than you because you can now use it to help others. I believe this is the process that heals.
It’s in your acceptance of your story where you’ll find acceptance in self.
Look at the photo above.
The top row are all the bad major events or “failures” that happend in my life.
Failed as a screenwriter. Worked in jobs I didn’t want to to get hours for licensure. Divorce. Business partnerships that didn’t work. Break ups.
Now if you follow each line down, they lead to the events that happened directly as a result of the “bad” events.
Failed as a screenwriter → is why I become a therapist.
I wasn’t selling scripts or able to make a living as a screenwriter. It made me miserable, desparate, and hard to live with. But it was failing at this that made me re-evaluate what I wanted to do with my life. This event is what made me decide to go back to school and get my Masters to become a therapist. If I had any success at screenwriting, I would not have become a therapist.
Worked in non-profit to get hours for licensure → is how I learned my concepts, therapeutic community, group work, and the fundamental idea of rebuilding yourself through others which will later become the flag for my company.
I never wanted to work in non-profit. I also never wanted to work with teenagers. I wanted to work in private practice with adults. But it’s extremely difficult to get your hours and put food on the table in private practice since they take years to build. So took what I could. Non-profit, working with teenagers recovering from addiction.
Divorce → lead to my rebirth, reconnected with my body through fitness, found a community / new friends, and built an online platform, The Angry Therapist.
This was the first domino. If it wasn’t for my divorice, I wouldn’t have had to start over. I would have still been a complete man child, eating sugar cereal for dinner and peeng in the shower.
Business partnerships that didn’t work → lead to learning and getting into a partnership with healthy boundaries that does work → which will set me up with more business partnerships that are healthy and beneficial.
It was partnerships that didn’t work that made me realize the importance of things like contracts. Speaking my mind. Getting what I believe I deserve. If it wasn’t for partnerships that didn’t work, I would go into bigger and more important partnerships with less tools and have resentment and regret.
Break ups → lead to various love lessons and revelations about self and the work I need to do to love harder.
All my expired relationships have taught me so much about love and what loving someone looks like. About what to put weight on. About how to love someone in a healthy way. About my shortcomings, triggers, and what I need to work on and take responsibility for.
All the “bad” events made me feel like Clark Kent, a no body, someone in hiding. But they all needed to happen in order to give birth to a series of new events that make me feel like Superman. I’m not saying my life is perfect and I’m as happy AF now. But I do have a sense of purpose and have changed my internal being, mindset, and overall state. I can honestly say I am a different person.
I went from -
Miserable fuck → Almost happy. (because happy is loaded with too much commerical pressure. I like being almost happy).
So if I can see how the “bad” in my life turned into “good”, I can trust that that process will continue. So when I feel “bad” is happening in my life today, I know it’s only going to put me into a phone booth tomorrow.
This is the power of our story. This is why we must trust it. Most of us want to reject parts of our story because we don’t see this pattern or progress. And we can’t when we’re in the trenches. I didn’t know I was going to one day publish books when I sitting in coffee shops trying to think of act breaks and why my marriage was falling apart.
We only see and feel the “bad”, forgetting that the “bad” will be the SOIL for the “good” (healing / rebirth).
I believe this is the formula for life.
The first step to healing and writing a new chapter is to accept your story. Because eventually there will be a tipping point, where your story becomes bigger than you and takes a life of its own.
This happens when you not only embrace your story but share it, using it to help others. This process is part of the healing. It leaves the self and enters the world. It allows you to separate what happened from who you are. At the same time, reconnecting parts of yourself you have ditched because of the shame.
Your story is the most powerful thing you will ever own.
Use it to heal you.
Call to action:
Check out my weekly podcast HERE.
If you want to use your story to change the lives of others, join me in our Catalyst Coaching Intensive.
Get my relationship toolkit below.