I love a good rags to riches story not in terms of financial riches but the bigger picture riches of a life well lived filled with things that mattered most to the storyteller. My favorite stories are from women and lately I’ve happened upon some pretty amazing ones. I’ve begun to wonder if there are more stories out there or if I’m just looking for inspiration from womankind. Either way, I’m profoundly grateful for Her Story and the writers that share their most intimate moments.
These stories, however, have led me to wonder if some women never have their story. That at the end of their lives they can’t point to that one moment that changed it all and led them on a path of self improvement and pure happiness. I’m worried that it’s more common than not based on the unhappiness I often witness with apparently no end in sight. The woman on her death bed who says, “I stayed in that abusive relationship” or “I devoted my life to caring for my children and all they ever wanted was my money” or the sad women who leave all of their money to their beloved pet who really doesn’t have much use for millions of dollars. How does this happen and why?
I think I found some of the answers from reading the inspirational Her Story’s over and over again. In every story I read, our heroine found her voice and used it. She ignored fear, shame, abuse, criticism, lack of support and she became passionate about some aspect of life that she felt she could contribute to. JK Rowling, a nearly destitute single mother, found her imagination and fearlessly put it to paper. She changed the reading habits of a generation and happens to be one of the most philanthropic women on the planet. Chutzpah for sure. Anne Frank, despite all of the misery that the outside world forced upon her, she refused to be a victim and her story affects millions of readers today. Helen Keller, Gabby Gifford, Hillary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, Madeline Albreght to name just a few.
There were other examples that were less dramatic for the world but more so for the writer. Mother’s realized that they loved to work outside of the home and bucked a judgmental world and went to work. Women who wanted to work inside of their homes with their children nearby found a way to do just that and live their greatest dream. Women went to school, left a toxic relationship, and discovered those who needed an advocate, they wrote, prayed, sang, danced, exercised, taught, and in their own small way changed our world for the better.
In life coaching we call it the victim to victory story. That day that you wake up and say, “That’s it! I will not live like this for one more minute.” And you start the process of change. I’m not sure if it happens when we reach our pain threshold, boredom, or just that unbelievably powerful voice that keeps saying to us, “You have a gift, share it with the world.” I worry for those who keep ignoring that voice and slowly drag themselves to a miserable grave without having found that special something that brings joy and unique happiness into their lives.
So what is your story? Who will you share it with and when? You don’t think you have one? We all do we just have to put down all of our fears, worries, and defensiveness to find out. No small task, I know. Keep your eyes open, stay curious, drop the victim act because it only serves to maintain that status. Quit being angry and aggressive and instead open your mind to the possibilities. Stop being jealous and judgmental because it’s not very attractive and will forever hold you back. Finally, be fearless, act as if you own the world and go get it. What do you have to lose besides Fido’s inheritance?
This blog was first posted on www.lifeinpleasantville.com
Lisa Kaplin is a life coach and psychologist at www.smartwomeninspiredlives.com
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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