The Stories of Our Lives

Photo by Angela Kirk

All of us have a story and these stories not only define what we think of ourselves but also the world around us and the people in it.

My story began when I was born on a goat farm in rural Ohio along with six siblings. I know that Doc chose me from the litter because she knew I was special and that I was cherished and well cared for by the Blacks that owned the farm and my mother, Sadie until I was ready to go live with Doc. I have heard that story over and over and it has re-enforced that I have been loved and wanted my entire life. Now imagine just for a moment that 7 years later I find out it was all a lie, that the truth was that I was found abandoned with my siblings on the side of a road thrown away like a bag of trash. How would that change the way I feel about myself, learning that everything I had been told was a lie? It would probably shake me to the core and make me question everything in my life. Why? Because everyone needs stories of belonging and it feels frightening when we find out what we believe may be wrong.

Assisting Doc in her therapy work I have learned one thing, humans don’t like it when their narratives are challenged. So what happens when our stories conflict with what we believe about ourselves, others, or even the country we live in?  It’s only human nature to push back because at the core it can be frightening when what we believe feels like it is falling apart.

Being the optimistic pooch that I am, I believe that we can learn by listening and being respectful with  others if they have a different narrative than the one we have.  When you are willing to let go of old beliefs you open the door for new people and ideas to enter, leading to a fuller life. So what is  your story?

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