Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Semantics Are Everything

Earlier this year, a friend of mine shared some details with me about a rather rough patch in her life. Given the circumstances, she had every right to become resentful and jaded. But her therapist illuminated a different path she could choose to take. "This doesn't have to become your sad story," the doctor said. My friend had a choice in how to frame her series of unfortunate events. She could turn woe into a tale of redemption and rebirth.

We all get to choose the way in which our stories are told. 

I think I've heard Oprah mention a few times that when things get tough, she'll ask herself, "How is this serving me?" In my Martha Beck training, I've heard master life coaches encourage people to ask themselves, "How is what's happening right now PERFECT for me?"

By flipping our roles in the stories from victims to victors—even in small capacities—we suddenly regain our power. We no longer have to carry the full weight of the irritating or downright awful situations around us because we know there is more going on between the lines. We know that we have a hand in how it'll all be told, and we can paint ourselves as warriors who have been given the gift of struggle to grow stronger. 

That hot pink framed picture above is hanging in my bathroom, and every morning when I get out of the shower (unless it's one of those days where I decide to stay in my pjs until sundown) I look at it and try to remind myself that I get to choose how the words are going to string together on these pages of my life.

Some days it's hard to get the story straight, but I'm committed to giving it a happy ending. And really, a happy all-the-way-through. I hope you are, too!


  1. Love this. Words are important, especially those we say ourselves.

  2. Nilsa - Thanks. Words work wonders, don't they? :)

    Lesley - Thank you.I think the ones we say to ourselves may be the MOST important.