Every life tells a story. Maybe a story of adventure or heroism, or perhaps tragedy, or, in lots of cases, mediocrity. The great thing about your story is that you get to write it. You can take a story that seems destined for calamity and give it a plot twist that, in the end, surprises everyone.
So first off, remember – it’s your story. Even if you are born into extremely limiting circumstances, there are always things you have control over and can change for the better. If you were, as I was, the victim of a divorce, there is still a story to be written – and it could still have a romantic twist. But, even if there is no romantic twist, it can still have a very happy ending if you make the effort to carefully create and edit your story.
How Happy Are You with Your Story?
Let me ask you this – how happy are you with your story so far? Then, let me ask you another question – what can you do to make it better? You see, the first question is not what could someone else do to make life better? Or, what circumstances have to change to make life better? The very first questions to ask are: what do you have control over and what can you do to change your story?
So, keeping that in mind, let me ask you again, how happy are you with your story? And, what can you do to change it? Now answer those questions with I can statements – not I wish or if only statements.
Yes, it is indeed painful to make some terrible mistake and have things end badly. As unfortunate as that is, perhaps the most tragic scenario is letting some other person or some circumstance make the decisions and write your story for you. So, don’t let your ex, your critics, or your past determine your future.
Write a Happy Ending
When it comes to your story, make sure to write a happy ending. You deserve a happy ending. Even if you made mistakes, even if you messed up badly, even if people tell you it is beyond repair, write a happy ending for your story. Don’t settle for the fifteen minutes of fame that might come from being the center of some sad soap opera plot or Jerry Spring show script. You deserve better than that.
Tale of a Happy Single
Let’s bring this home to singleness. Why not write a tale of thriving singleness? Does being single again, or single longer than you hoped, doom you to a life of loneliness and unfulfillment? No! You can still author a tale of excitement, adventure, and success.
That could mean thriving as a single the rest of your life or thriving as a single so that you can thrive as a married person later on. Either story starts with thriving now. Your happy ending is not dependent on whether you end up married or single the rest of your life. It is dependent on learning to take control and to be happy no matter what.
It’s Not Too Late for a Rewrite
Here let me state the painfully obvious – the past is what it is. It is immutable and in uneditable. No amount of fretting, regretting, or self-flagellation will change one minor detail of it. You are stuck with it – forever.
However, you can reframe it. You can look to it for clues as to what you need to change to get better results. It can serve as a cautionary tale. You can use it as motivation – a catalyst for changing your future.
Maybe up till now, you have been an unhappy person, resentful that you are still single or single again. Maybe you have been stuck in a relationship revolving door and have gone from one relationship failure to another. It is not too late to change that story.
Do not waste time reliving the past. Create the story you want. Start by living in the here and now and working toward the future you want.
Get off of cruise control. Stop making the same default choices you have made in the past. It starts with the decision that you will take control away from your ex, your past decisions, your default patterns, and from the opinions of people who are no better off than you are.
Think for Yourself
To stop giving other people control of your life you must stop letting other people think for you and start to think for yourself. That will probably mean making a few mistakes and not being perfect. It will be a process, but you will learn and grow and start moving toward thinking independently and writing our own story.
The crowd is not always right. Germany group-thought its way into genocide and world war. This generation is group-thinking itself into new cultural norms that the next generation will struggle to recover from.
Our modern society has decided that living together is normal and that sexual abstinence for singles is outdated. It has taught us that relationships rarely last more than a few years at best, then you move on.
Avoid group-think. Stand for what you know is good and right. The dysfunctional tale of modern singleness does not have to be your story.
Accept Help from Quality Sources
Making a change will require asking for help. That help must come from quality sources. Look for people who live their life the way you aspire to live your life. Are they thriving as a single person? If they are married, is their marriage thriving? Are they strong and independent and free of group-think?
Be humble enough to ask for help and wise enough to get it from the right people.
Conclusion / Homework
It’s your life. It’s your story. Make it into something you love.
This week, I have homework for you. Spend some time answering two questions. You can do this mentally, but it would be even better if you did it with a pencil and paper or a keyboard.
First, what do I want my story to be?
Second, what can I do to get myself there?
Give it some thought. Make some changes. Rewrite your story.
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