When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.
I know this is true. I may have learned it as a researcher but I live this truth as a daughter, a partner, a leader, a sister, a mother, and a friend. When we push down hurt or pretend that struggle doesn’t exist, the hurt and struggle own us.
I’ve learned that writing a brave new ending in our personal lives means:
- We can’t smooth over hurt feelings in our families. It’s too easy for stockpiled hurt to turn into rage, resentment, and isolation. We must talk about it. Even when we don’t want to. Even when we’re tired.
- We can’t pretend our family histories of addiction and mental health issues don’t exist if our hope is to write a new story and pass that legacy of emotional honesty and health down to our children.
- We must own our failures and mistakes so that we can learn and grow. It’s hard but I’ve seen how it becomes part of a family and organizational cultures and unleashes innovation and creativity. It doesn’t feel comfortable, but courage rarely does.