The day of love. But why only celebrate it once a year?
#LoveStories celebrates the good people who make a difference. Tell a story about someone who has made your life a little lighter. Better yet, share that story with them.
Today we celebrate our first love. That is you! Before your love for another comes that deep and intimate love that you have for yourself. Your body, mind, heart, and spirit are uniquely you and should be celebrated and loved every day. By you.
Write yourself a love letter, tell yourself the story of you. Post it on your wall, your real wall, where you can see it. Or if you wish, share it with the world.
What is your love story?
Share your story. #sharethelove
I rise early. My father is up and still drunk. When is he not drunk? I am still worthless, he confirms.
He’s right. I am half him: drunk, violent, criminal. I am half my mother: victim, martyr, child. What else could I be but worthless? No matter how hard I try, I am nothing. And I try, believe me, I try.
But it is Saturday, and I have somewhere to be.
We all sit at our desks. I wait to hear my name. When called, we each walk to the instructor’s desk, receive our grades and return to our desks with it written on our faces. He calls my name. 96%. 96%? I just earned 96% in my first college English course! Take that Dad!
The instructor pulls me aside and tells me I should think about university.
“I can’t do that. I am a high school dropout, twice.”
“You just earned 96% in my course.”
“Yeah, but it is just a continuing ed course.”
“Are you suggesting my course doesn’t count?”
“I can get 96% in my English class and still get in trouble for what I say.”
“High school doesn’t matter anymore. You are a mature student and I will write you a letter of support. Go to university!”
My instructor believes in me and wants me to succeed. Everyone else gave up, thought I’d be dead in a ditch by now. Maybe university is my ticket out of this family, this place, this life.
That’s what I did. I ran away to university. I thought university was my way out of my horrible life. After university I wanted to get further away. I ran away to Asia, and then to South America. The problem I eventually realized was that no matter where I ran, how many times or how far, there I was.
I could not outrun myself.
I had to reconcile my life with myself. No matter what had happened in the past, I had to live with me now and into the future. I didn’t need my parents to apologize, although that might have been nice. I needed to tell my own story, to retell the story that I had been told and that I had spent so many years unsuccessfully running from. I needed to write a new story, to empower myself, and to create a future story and a self that I could live with.
I dug in. I reviewed my life, not from the perspective of my parents, or teachers or friends. I wrote a new story from my perspective. A new story where I was the hero, not the worthless person in the old version of the story. It was a whole new adventure, this exploration of self. Talk about uncharted territory! When I stopped running and looked inward, my true deep to my core transformation began.
It has been the trip of a lifetime that has lasted a lifetime. I take responsibility, not for the things that have happened to me, but for how I have been shaped by the circumstances of my life, good and bad.
Being the author of my life has led me to understand my values, emotions, my needs, strengths, my weaknesses, and I know they are all in constant motion, always changing – sometimes it is hard to keep up. I have learned to love myself, to accept myself, to appreciate myself in all my glorious success and my failure.
I haven’t stopped adventuring. I still love to live and tell great stories. Stories can make the world a better place. I continue to write my own story and to use story to empower others to create positive change in their world.
Tell Better Stories
If you would like to re-tell your story, join me for The Story Workshop or one of my Story Coach Circles and start authoring your own life.