I love to hear people’s stories. Through their experiences, trials and joys they became the people they are. When I was younger I would ask my grandma to tell me stories, in which I would learn about her life as a child and then what it was like to be married with five kids. I loved to visit with her and looking back I wish I would have had the forethought to write down the experiences she went through. Her narrative was mostly about simpler times, but she never made them sound like they were hard times. Throughout her life I knew she didn’t always have it easy but that never stopped her from loving us grandkids, supporting us and making sure when people came to visit they were well fed. She was a rock in our family.

As an adult, married with kids, I wonder what is seen as my narrative. Do I make the way my life is seem harder than what it is so that people will want to listen to me? Do I brush things off too easily even if I may be struggling with something that someone is willing to help me with? Do I hold back on my excitement of things because I don’t want to make a spectacle out of myself? I want my narrative to be strong and full of love and joy, not that there won’t be hard times but I want strength and perseverance to shine through. A gal I was talking to once was telling me of all the things she wanted to do but she was going to wait to do them until her kids were older. At first I thought “how sad, why wait?” but then it dawned on me that this is what her narrative is. Her current story has her kids as the center point. She finds joy in that, she is strong in that, when that shifts and she becomes more of the center then she can do the things her heart desires. Another person I talked to had some major trauma in her younger years that made her grow up way too soon. She had a lot to work through, but what she gained from the events that happened is that they would not define her. She made mistakes, she let people down but she also lifted people up and encouraged people to move forward, to take back their lives and be who they want to be.

This week I am doing something that is a little bit scary for me to do. It may not seem like much, but I am reading a book to a group of kids. This isn’t just any book, it’s a book I wrote about above all things believing in yourself. I may show up and have one kid there, or I may show up and have twenty. You may be thinking: “how hard could this be?” and I would be thinking the same thing if it were someone else, but it’s me. I am putting my heart out on the line, hoping that the kids will like the story. What I am also doing is showing my own kids that they need to take risks, try something new and have fun along the way. I am also growing and learning that taking risks and having goals is living. I have days in which I get home from work and think my co-workers must think I am the meanest person ever, my kids don’t want to listen to what I have to say and my hubby swears I moved things to test his patience. It’s on these days in which I have to chose to change the narrative. I have to find the joy, find the good, and realize that when I think these negative thoughts majority of the time they are not true (except of course when I try and test my hubby’s sanity). What’s your narrative? Is it laced with positivity or negativity? Do you live your life in a way that people want to sit and hear your stories? Until next time:

You don’t need to rearrange the stars or move mountains to be enough. You don’t need to have your entire life in order, or be perfect in any way. You just need to be able to offer love, and be willing to receive it in return, because that’s all anyone ever needed anyway.

Dane Thomas

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