Sunday, May 15, 2016
Stories We Tell Ourselves
One of the threads I need to adjust in my life is in the stories I carry, the things I tell myself. We all do this (I think). Many of the stories are helpful and true (for example, I am tenacious). But some of the stories we repeat to ourselves are bald-faced lies (example, I am an annoyance to my friends). The lies are the ones that weigh the most, and they are the ones that do us the most damage on our journey.
It is part of a healthy growth journey to recognize the false stories we carry, and to ditch those things before they become so deeply embedded in our souls that they may as well be true (because we are living as though they are). I can't speak for anyone else but I know I sure don't need any extra (toxic) weight to carry. "Do not believe everything you think."
Sometimes other people tell you stories. And you must discern how meaningful or valuable those stories might be to you. This past week at MD Anderson, I heard many stories. My doctors and their assistants explained much to me about how my surgery and treatment for breast cancer is going to go. They spoke in calm tones with authority and assurance about some hard things. I came out of the day with a peace about how things were going to go, and with a feeling that I was going to be all right. I'm a sucker for that kind of calm talk (I never think about how easy it is for someone to sound calm and confident when they aren't the ones going through the stuff)!
(I'll be having a lumpectomy, probably followed by radiation, with hormone therapy possibly thrown in for good measure. That's the bare bones of the plan for now.)
But now that I am home, and away from the doctors and their reassurances, and as night is creeping in, doubt and her stories also tries to creep in. Yet, underneath the doubt, and the occasional fear, I feel good about it all, that I'm getting the best treatment available and I'm doing the best I can do for myself.
I have a few healthy, growth oriented friends who affirm my "good self-talk." I like to remind them that I have learned a thing or two through my trials. And also, that my good self-talk is a bit like my tennis playing, that is to say it is often inconsistent. And at times like those, when I sound like I am thinking I will one day have these tasks mastered, I have friends who remind me that I will never "arrive," that I am progressing!