Engaging Your Story

Engaging your story with kindness is the single greatest act of rebellion in a world that constantly looks forward without looking back. Showing yourself kindness is courageous. It is aligned with God’s heart for you and your life. The journey of learning to have compassion for your younger self for not knowing better is difficult, painful, and the most worthwhile experience you could ever have. We have to stop looking at our past selves and chastising them for not knowing what the adult versions of ourselves do. Your younger self needed to be loved, protected and fought for. When any of those needs were not meant, for whatever reason, it leaves a wound. The wound needs to heal, or it will continue to come back.

Over the past few years, I have realized that too often we see ourselves as supporting characters in the story of our life, never even daring to entertain the idea that we are one of the main characters. We have made everyone else into main characters and ourselves as extras. We make excuses for other people’s actions, acting as if our pain was somehow lesser than someone else’s until the pain becomes too much. We see everything that happens to us, either by circumstances or by our own making, as secondary. Yet, when we do something wrong, we chastise ourselves as if it is the worst thing that could happen. But where is God in all of this? What if the relationship you have with God became the center of your story? What if you started to engage your story with a kindness that can only be revealed by God?
Engaging your story with kindness sounds great; but what does it actually mean? Well, first, it means acknowledging that you have a story that brought you here, filled with valleys, mountains, and everything in between. It means looking at the times when we get hurt as opportunities to heal. It is daring to hope that there is something better, even here. It means expecting goodness to come instead of darkness. It means knowing your emotions do not get to dictate your reality but they do point to something important. Listen to your emotions, especially the ones that make you want to run in the opposite direction. They will lead you to the places of your heart that you may not know had been broken.

Did you know your body holds emotional wounds as if they were physical? When you experience a really deep emotional wound, your body’s physiological response is as if you had just received a body wound. This the reason why when we’re experiencing deep emotional pain, it will feel like your body actually hurts. We all have those triggers that set something off deep down inside of us. They may seem super small, and nine times out of ten, I will be the first to rationalize away the pain and disregard it. That is not kind though. Kindness is taking note of those moments and bringing them to God and asking why. Instead of settling for the pain, we stay curious.
Your body knows when there is unhealed trauma. I know using the word trauma to describe an experience may seem uncomfortable, because we identify trauma as large “T” traumas like child abuse, sexual assault, neglect, war, etc. However, trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope. There is a number of things that can be considered deeply distressing to one’s ability to cope, it doesn’t have to be large “T” trauma. Learn to have compassion for your own experiences, regardless of how big or small the experience may seem. If you are still thinking about it now, that means is has significance. Asking yourself why may be the greatest step of kindness you could take.

There is no one size fits all process that I can give you to engaging your story with kindness. I can’t do that for the sole reason that it would discredit the uniqueness of your story. Your path to healing will look different than mine, because God created us as different people. The one piece of encouragement that I can give you is that God is with you. This healing journey may mean you get angry with God, lash out, cry more than you ever thought was possible, and go to depths you never saw yourself going. The good news is God is with you. There is a fear that I had, along with many reading this I presume, that if I allowed myself to feel the depths of my pain, there would be no going back. I feared I may not come out. There is a quote from Brené Brown that I embraced when it came to this: “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
It may be difficult learning to look at your story with kindness, but God’s love should be at the forefront of this journey. God’s love is deep, it is redemptive. There is no part of your story that God has left untouched. He is a kind and involved father. Asking him where he was in the most painful parts of our story opens our hearts to receiving his love, safety, and nurture. If you look at your story through anything other than love, that is not God. Before there was ever a person that sowed lies into your heart, there was God. Before there was anyone against you, God was all ready for you. God’s love is not reactive to lies, to battles for our hearts, to satan, etc. God’s love is simply active. God’s love for you stood before you were ever born. How would it change your mindset if you believed God’s love was not reactive but active?

Author | Cristina Rosiles





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