Everyone has stories to get out of their way.
Carrie was told a story that nothing was wrong, though she was sick and suffering and knew in her bones what her doctor said wasn’t true. But the very same story was repeated many times by experts who must have known more than she did.
She was sick and suffering. She knew that. She knew her life had suddenly changed when she developed drop-dead fatigue, body pain, and brain fog. She did not make these up.
But it took five years for her to finally work with someone who believed her, acknowledged the very real dysfunction in spite of “normal” lab tests, and committed to a path with her to becoming well.
Part of the delay was wading through those initial experts who were clearly the wrong fit.
Disempowering Stories Got in Carrie’s Way
But a huge part of why it took so long for her to become well was because of stories.
Stories she was told.
Stories she believed.
Stories she carried in her that diminished her capacity to scrutinize what she was told and act with personal authority and agency about:
- her power,
- her wisdom,
- her worthiness, and
- her unquestioning belief in a system of medicine that is, just like people (why would it be any other way?), built on stories.
When the experts said there was nothing wrong, part of her believed them. They were the experts after all, using their expert knowledge and expert tests to arrive at expert conclusions that must be right.
And in her ignorance about how the body works, it makes sense that she would defer to their judgements, doesn’t it?
Except, she was sick and suffering and she knew it.
In spite of her knowing, she gave her power away to those experts. She repeatedly ignored her own wisdom. She doubted her worthiness to receive something better than she got from them for five years!
How Carrie Healed Her Story
But the story of her truth didn’t die, because she kept reaching out to new experts. It took five years, but she finally got there, and now she is well. And she’s worked hard, as core parts of her healing, to upgrade her stories about her power, wisdom, and worthiness. For Carrie, five years of suffering will never happen again.
And through it all, Carrie has become savvy about the stories of conventional medicine. They will never let her down again. This scrutiny has helped her tell new empowering stories that support her lifetime of healing:
- Suffering is never “nothing wrong.” Not ever.
- She’s worthy of deep, root cause exploration of her suffering and individualized strategies to address it.
- She’s worthy of commitment to healing even when her suffering is chronic and complex.
- She’s worthy of being believed in spite of what the tests show.
- She’s worthy of making any choice she wants, because she says so.
- She is wise about herself, and that wisdom will be the driver of her healthcare and healing.
- She is the agent of her own healing.
- She can overcome all suffering.
- She is powerful.
Dang. Gorgeous job, Carrie! I’m so proud.
Carrie not only healed, she blasted through the tenacious energy of those old disempowering stories that kept her sick and suffering for five years. Her new empowering stories are the foundation of the resilience she brings to all present and future challenges.
What stories of yours have gotten in the way of healing you’ve longed for? What stories are you grappling with right now? You can be sure we’re all grappling too! Everyone has stories to get out of their way.
Karyn Shanks MD. Empower Your Healing Story. 2020.
Karyn Shanks MD. You Were Born to Heal. 2020.
More on Empowering Your Healing Story:
Empower Your Healing Story Table of Contents
How to Empower Your Healing Story (A Manifesto)
Let's claim our healing stories. Let’s begin this healing journey. To claim our power and our wisdom to know what’s best, to own our bodies.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (What are Stories?)
If we didn't get stuck we'd all be healed, wouldn't we? Learn to recognize and let go of the disempowering stories that slam the brakes on your healing.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (By Reimagining These Five Stories)
Why can't we heal? Why can't we get unstuck? Learn to reimagine the 5 common stories that get in our way. You'll learn to tell-and live-a healing story.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (Lessons in Story Mining)
Learn to rewrite the stories that get in the way of your healing. Learn the tools, perspective changers, and a self-guided roadmap to set you free.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (Rewrite Your Failure Stories)
Learn to deconstruct the tyranical and disabling stories we tell ourselves about failure. Your failure stories will become stories of healing and freedom.
How to Empower Your Healing Story (Claim Your Emotional Genius)
We. Must. Feel. The stories we tell about our complicated emotions can block our healing. In this article, you'll learn to claim your emotional genius.
Born to Heal: Our Call for a New Healing Paradigm
We’ve got to write a new story of what the best healthcare is, what the best medicine is, and what it takes to live a healing life.
How to Become the Expert on You: Write Your Story of Healing
To become the expert on ourselves we must know who we are. This is our power. The first act of reclaiming this power is telling our story of becoming well.
Every life challenge pushes us toward mastery over our circumstances.
How to Claim Healing as Your Own
Healing is ours. Our birthright. The primary urge of all nature. But we must claim it as our own. Our healing-our potential-rests squarely in our own hands.
How to Use Anxiety as the Empathic Wise Guide Within You
Anxiety is my guide, my inner wisdom, my genius! Anxiety contains wisdom we can all share, and action steps we can take to relieve the burden of it.
We’re not broken. We're … Complicated. Messy. Mean as hell. Heartbroken. Scared. Gorgeous. Amazing. And Beautiful. All these things. All at once.
Learn the art of staying curious as a strategy managing uncertainty. Curiosity is the mother of intelligence and creative solutions.
What Makes Healing So Hard?
Reclaiming our agency and autonomy takes energy, paying attention, learning, action, and taking our power back from the experts we’ve asked to fix us.
Permission to Fail
I give you my full permission right now to make all those beautiful mistakes that aren’t really mistakes but just road signs showing you Your True Path.
How to Survive Storms, Pandemics, and, Well, Everything.
To heal, we have to see all the events of the past year as a call. Not a series of random calamities, not bad luck, not cruel misfortune.
I want you to remember how joyful life can be. And how it’s possible to live both a hard life and a joyful one at the very same time.
Everyone’s Got Stories to Get Out of Their Way
Carrie healed by blasting through the tenacious energy of those old disempowering stories that kept her sick and suffering for five years.