A woman in a colorful top sitting in a sunny space looking away from the camera and smiling.

Walking into My Story

Written by Christine Hanlon.

 “When we have the courage to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending.” – Brené Brown

This quote makes me feel sad but hopeful and, at the same time, proud that I have recently been able to walk into the painful parts of my life while putting the shame, regret, and disappointment aside.

For many years – decades even – I was filled with rage, shame, guilt, intermittent self-loathing, and a lack of self-confidence. As a result, I was inconsistent in my parenting and modeled maladaptive behaviour to my children in my responses to the stresses of everyday life. They now struggle with their own unhealthy reactions.

I am sad about this, of course, but, at the same time, I am hopeful and proud that I have taken ownership of this narrative openly and honestly. I have shifted my focus away from shame and self-blame with the goal of sharing my struggles in order to support them in theirs.

At the same time, my lack of self-confidence had prevented me from pursuing my lifelong yearning to write fiction. I am sad that I did not give myself permission to do this long ago, but I am putting aside my ‘what ifs’ to focus on ‘what now.’ My fears that I am too old to start on this journey are fading and I feel hopeful.

As I reread this quote, I am thinking about how apt it is to my situation right now. That makes me feel light and excited. My heart is racing a little faster at the thought that the mindfulness work I have been doing over the past year had allowed me to take ownership of my story without the shame and self-recrimination that were preventing me from moving forward. I am excited by the potential of writing my own ending. While I do feel lighter, at the same time, paradoxically I also feel grounded and more solid than ever before.

The Brene Brown quote inspires me to be the parent I could have been and strengthen my relationship with my children and my ability to support them. It inspires me to share my own story and struggles with others, along with the resources that have enabled me to take ownership of my story and find fulfillment. It’s a continuous – and messy – process and I am constantly learning, but happy to be able to share my findings along the way.

Finally, the quote inspires me to continue pursuing my life’s purpose, as manifested by my writing. The shackles of self-doubt still rattle sometimes, but they are no longer firmly affixed to my ankles. Instead, they sit in a corner, just within sight, reminding me to always pay attention.

© 2023, Christine Hanlon.


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