Yes, it’s April Fools’ Day but this post is no joke. As April 1 falls on a Sunday this year, I am marking – rather than celebrating – a defining event. For today is the 39th anniversary of the day – Sunday April 1, 1973 – that my lovely dad had a devastating stroke, when he was only 46 years old.
While I am not going tell the story of that event right now, suffice to say it changed the lives of every member of my family. My dad’s stroke, and subsequent disability, became the major undercurrent of my life. I say undercurrent because I got on with my life without really talking about it to anyone – including my family.
The stories I told myself about what happened to my dad and how it affected me became my truth. These stories were about being abandoned, not being good enough, how there must be something wrong with me, and how I couldn’t rely on any man to be there for me.
And while the details of my life-defining event might be different to yours, there are bound to be similarities in terms of the stories you have told yourself about your life-defining events. You have probably created similar limiting beliefs about not being good enough and needing to be fixed.
In my experience these types of belief are universal – part of the human condition – especially among women who have had difficulty in expressing their emotions. That’s why I’m realising how important it is to identify the stories you are telling yourself, because they run your life.
If I’m looking at it from an ironic point of view, I was the April Fool in this story. But it took me many, many years to realise that, even though the event itself was terribly sad, the story I had told myself about it was a joke.
Think about the stories that revolve around the major events of your life, especially the ones you keep to yourself. Don’t let yourself be fooled like I did.