I’ve been through a lot of really, tough seasons in my life… where I felt like the ground beneath me was shifting… breaking away from my very foothold. And whether this is what the plan for my life was meant to be, or if other women also in their 50s have had similar experiences, it occurred to me that we all have life stories that are rich and beautiful… and sometimes very difficult.
I could go through all of the (almost unbelievable) hardships I’ve overcome in 54 years. But that is not the point of writing this. I want to show YOU why you need 3 powerful stories in your life to get through any tough season you may endure.
One of my super powers is storytelling. I can look back at all of my dreams and training – even graduate school – to become a screenwriter. But my emphasis was always on being the best storyteller I could be.
Then it occurred to a few months ago (ironically after a life event that was so powerful and traumatizing to me that it created signs of PTSD in me) that the biggest strength I possess is the ability to access some of my powerful life stories… easily.
These are the 3 life stories you must find and hang on to when life gets hard.
1. A Love Story
My love story that gets me through tough times is about how I fell in love with my husband. It’s romantic and ironic and beautiful. But your personal story may be different. It doesn’t have to be a romantic one – it could be a love story about another relationship you have with a grandparent – a parent – a sibling – a friend. I had a beautiful relationship with my maternal grandmother. Although she passed away 14 years ago, I still consider her my best friend.
- I laugh when I think about some of the road trip adventures we took.
- I feel close to her when I listen to music she loved.
- I still hold her very close in my heart.
You may have a relationship in your life that has made an impact on you. Changed you. Made you a better person. Creates a feeling of love in your heart when you think about it. THAT is your love story.
2. A Confidence Story
My confidence story goes back 30+ years. And that is okay – because it was from my most confident 20-year old self. It was from a time before I had seen multiple layoffs, multiple family deaths, multiple hardships. I knew no limits and I lived my life that way. As a young female who loved high school sports like volleyball, but never found a starting position on a high school team, I decided in my college years to walk-on to a Division 1 NCAA university team… and I earned a position on the roster!
- I was the definition of fearless.
- And although that happened 3 decades ago, it continues to serve me well in life.
- I can easily put my mind back into that place and feel how amazing I felt with all the confidence in the world.
Think in your life of a time when you were at your most confident. What did you overcome? What did you achieve? What did you accomplish at any time in your life that made you proud of yourself? HOLD ON TO THAT STORY! Don’t diminish anything… and give yourself credit where credit is due that you have one of these stories but maybe you never thought of it in these terms!
3. A Resilience Story
Odds are probably high that you have powered through some tough seasons in your life, as well. And while I wish we could hang out in person to toast our accomplishments for getting through some rough patches, I mostly want you to recognize how strong you are. So let’s chat about resilience. I have several resilience stories. I do. And you may too. I have one in particular that stands out to me… probably because it involved all 3 of my children. Our family went through a 24-month period where all 3 of our children were diagnosed with special needs. The world was falling apart for me and my reality of what I thought was our future was changing faster than I could research and figure out what my children needed.
- And yet I survived.
- I became a fighter – and advocate.
- I became what my children needed me to be – and the biggest momma bear you’ve ever seen.
I’ll never forget calling a dear friend and sobbing to her… why me? Why my kids? Why our family? I felt desperate. And her words still encourage me. “Sheri, God knew you had to learn how to fight for your kids, quickly. And now you will do it.”
So now it’s your turn. You probably have more than one. But I want you to think about a resilience story that made you stronger. Made you feel more in control. Made you feel more powerful. Made you realize that you could do something – survive something – overcome something. This story should show you that you are stronger than you think.
Although we all have different life experiences, we also have so many similarities. We love. We lose. We overcome. We keep moving. We grow wiser and stronger and our stories are forever part of who we are.
I hope you will start thinking about your 3 stories… and I would be honored if you drop me a comment below when you come up with one… or all three!