What Stories Do You Need To Stop Telling Yourself?

Inspired by a talk I did in november and a conversation on the Podcast with Andrew, I was reminded by one of my favourite quotes in Chidera Eggerue’s (aka the Slumflower) book ‘What A Time To Be Alone’.

(We did a podcast on her book as well, you can check it out here!)

“If you really want to grow past the pain, stop picking at the wound.” 

Humans, with all this awareness we have of their own experience, write their own identities as they are living. We write our own story as we live.

When you are young, other people might play a big(get) part in your narrative, because you listen to them or look to them. When they tell you you’re smart, or pretty, or a hard worker, you believe them. Sometimes these labels we make our own are correct, sometimes they are not. But the more someone tells us a story about ourselves, the more true it becomes to us.

When we grow up, we also start creating our own stories.

Our identity emerges from the things we attribute meaning to, to the events and experiences that we believe have defined us. What we tell ourselves is what we become, because we think that it is our experiences that make us who we are.

And that’s true. And of course, the biggest, dramatic and fundamental things we experience have more impact on us than the smaller things. A death in the family, becoming ill, witnessing something traumatic, getting bullied, getting your heart broken, getting divorced (your parents or yourself), things like this. The Big Life Events.

They affect you, and can create wounds.

That’s life. Nobody gets out alive, and nobody gets out unharmed.

Chidera, a black British woman who wrote an awesome book about self love, relationships and personal power. And on that note of self love and personal power, she tells us:

If you want to grow past the pain, you have got to stop picking at the wond.

At some point, it’s done and dusted

I believe there comes a point in your life, after processing and going through it, after the umpteenth conversation with your best friend, after therapy, after the thousand entries in your journal, the hundredth time screaming into a pillow: It’s gotta be dealt with and done.

I can’t decide that point for anyone but myself, but through Chidera’s book I did realise it is a healthy and wise question to ask yourself: Am I still going through it, or am I picking at the wound and choosing to go through it again and again?

Do you want to move on? Or do you want to keep picking at the wind?

By all means, but if you do this is by your own volition and full on self-flagellation at this point. And not everyone will stand by and enable you doing that

If you want to use that pain you have from something your life as an excuse for something time and time again? That’s not necessarily just if you are just bringing back the pain every time yourself.

Because you can’t leave the wound alone, if you can’t let it be long enough for it to actually heal over, and just be one of your scars instead of an active source of pain because you keep poking at it.

You are more than just that wound, more than just that part of you, more than just that particular story that is a part of your entire narrative.

And if you want to move on, if you want more? Than it might be time to let go of that part of your story.

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