But, I told myself it would ruin my kids’ lives. I couldn’t afford it. My family would think I was a failure. Everyone would judge me. My husband would make my life a living hell if I left.
I wanted to change careers and do what I loved instead of just paying the bills.
But, I told myself I was safe in my current job. I would be crazy to give up my salary. Private health insurance would cost too much. What if I failed?
I wanted to sell my house and get a less expensive car.
But, I told myself that would be too embarrassing. I live in a community where “keeping up with the Jones’s” is a way of life, whether or not you can afford it.
I wanted to move into a small condominium with my two teenaged daughters.
But, I told myself that would be too hard for them. They would be mortified. They wouldn’t want to have friends over like they always had. It wouldn’t feel like a home to them. They would hate me forever if we downsized.
These are just a few of the stories I told myself.
Making excuses was easy. Yet, they had a valuable purpose. They protected me from doing what I was so damn terrified to do – even though doing these things was what I so desperately wanted. I was safer staying where I was than having to overcome all the “what if’s.”
Yet, the primal whispers inside me were louder then the voice in my head.
I knew what I wanted. I could feel it inside of me.
Scary as it was, I knew it was time to change my story.
Thought by thought… Page by page… Chapter by chapter.
One day, when I was on a walk, I thought of Anais Nïn’s quote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
So I began by questioning each excuse – each story I made up in my mind – and evaluated the emotional cost of staying stuck.
I asked myself, what if all the things I am worrying about never actually happen? What if I follow my heart and everything works out the way it’s supposed to, in its own time.
As my thoughts started to change, so did my story.
Within six months….
I got divorced.
I didn’t ruin my kids’ lives. Instead, I taught them about strength. I was showered with support by my family. My ex-husband and I are both happier; and we remain good friends to this day.
I quit my job and followed my dream to become a life coach.
I discovered there were quite a few people out there who wanted help rewriting their stories too.
I sold my house and my car.
I wasn’t embarrassed one bit. Becoming debt free felt far greater than living beyond my means.
I moved into a condo with my two teenage daughters.
The three of us had the time of our lives. We grew closer. Their friends came over constantly. Together, we created a home, regardless of the size.
And, they didn’t hate me at all. Well, some days they did (they were teenagers after all), but that wasn’t because of the move.
Not one of my excuses/worst-case scenarios ever came true.
Not a single one.
Byron Katie was right when she said, “it’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” How true that is.
We all have stories. Stories that slip so naturally into our minds, our words, our choices, that eventually we start to believe them and live the wrong story. And before we know it, we’ve created a life we’re not happy living.
What’s your story?