WHAT'S THE STORY? (What Flag Are You flying?)
What flag do you fly on a daily basis? Is it "I'm not good enough" or "I don't belong"? Is it "I'm great and so are you"? Every choice we make tells our story. What story are you telling? Do you know? Everyone else does. They see you very clearly. And they know the faults and flaws that you think you're hiding...
Real growth is not for the faint-hearted. You have to be willing to rip open your past and let your broken heart fall out and then figure out why, and how to fix it.
Let's look at what makes up a story. There is the origin story; here's the beginning of mine : "I was born to lower middle-class Irish Catholic parents in a converted bungalow colony in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, New York. My father was one of thirteen children who lost his father when he was eight; my mother was an only child from Morningside Heights, passed around from relative to relative while her parents partied all over New York City". It goes on.
The next stage of your story is about your primal struggle, the trauma that you experienced that changed you. For instance, I never got my father's approval; in fact, he took every opportunity to shame me, to make me feel that I wasn't enough. I found myself in some strange competition designed for me to always lose, and to always be humiliated. It left me believing that I wasn't enough, that I wasn't really good for anything, or at anything.
What's your trauma, your psychic split, your primal struggle? Here's a hint: whatever it is, it broke your heart. It left you feeling not good enough. It made you lose faith in yourself and decide that you had to invent some new, better version of you. It made you feel like you don't belong, feeling like a fraud and a phony, and unlovable. It probably left you feeling isolated and alone, and like nobody gets you. That's the nature of the primal struggle. It leaves big holes to fill.
The next part of your story has to do with how you adjust to that struggle, that trauma. First, there is the neurotic adjustment to it, where you try to solve the dilemma. I tried to fill that gaping hole by striving to be the best at all costs, including lying to myself and others, cheating and deeply hurting yourself. I scrambled to excel. Exhausting!
The healthy next step in examining your story is the process of actualizing your pattern; making it healthy and useful to you and to the world. Make lemonade out of the lemons that life has given you. I developed a lot of skills and a lot of attention to detail because I was so neurotically driven. Slowly, I began to learn that I am capable, even good at some things. Because of my madness I became very resilient at solving problems and getting what I want. I became a great strategist and had tremendous empathy for people's suffering. Because of all of this history, the flag I fly now is "I can make anything happen and so can you!"
When you start to actualize your pattern make sure it's a win/win scenario between you and the world. For you to sign on, it has to be a positive message to yourself and the world. If your neurotic flag is "I'm unlovable" try "I'm lovable and so are you!"
Be certain of one thing, you are flying one flag or another, positive or negative, and everyone sees it, so make sure it's the one you want to be representing.