Is Your Story an Anchor or a Platform?

By Marsha Vanwynsberghe

We all have a story. All of us.  

The role that story plays in our lives is entirely up to us. We have a choice in how much power it has over us.

There are times in our lives where our stories are solid anchors, holding us down, stifling our lives and making our world incredibly small. We feel alone as if no one in the world “gets us.” We let our story literally dictate what we do or don’t do in our lives. The anchor is a heavy metal object that prevents us from drifting, moving or changing direction. It keeps us stationary, stagnant, and very small. We become victims of life, like a rag doll that takes a beating from the elements with no possibility of moving or changing the circumstances.  

I know this anchor.  I held onto and lived with this anchor for years.  As a parent dealing with teen substance abuse, that story defined me and the shame, blame and guilt that went with it meant I was carrying one massive anchor that held me down and stopped me from living in all areas of my life.  It took me years to realize and recognize that I was the one holding onto the anchor and if I wanted to change my life, I had to be the one to decide what role that anchor would play in my life!

For some of us, we hold onto that anchor as a form of safety, simply because it’s what we know. Honestly it’s no way to live, it’s barely a way to survive let alone even think of thriving!

Sometimes we learn to let go of the hold that anchor has on our lives. Truthfully, we always carry the anchor because our stories, experiences, emotions and pain shape us into who we become. We learn to let go a little, to embrace our stories, to own them, to acknowledge that they’ve contributed to who we are. In this situation, the anchor loses some of its pull, its power, its weight, and its ability to hold us down in our lives. We may even look at that anchor as a reminder of how far we’ve come on our journey.

Some of us take it one step further and use our story to help others, to ease their pain, to give meaning to our own suffering and to heal. When we’re at our lowest point, sometimes it’s the reminder that others are experiencing even more pain that reminds us, it’s not all about us. Truthfully, it took me a long time to get there, it was not an overnight trip!

Finally for some of us our anchor becomes the fuel for building a platform of the lessons from our stories and that platform becomes a coaching, speaking or writing business that serves, supports, and impacts others. It literally becomes a lemonade stand and it means that on some human level there’s a meaning behind our pain. “Pain is inevitable . . . suffering is a choice.” ~ (~ Unknown). It eases our pain, the pain of others, and helps us all heal. It collectively raises the vibration and becomes the ultimate story of people helping people. No judgement, more kindness, more collaboration, and ultimately a little less isolation and pain.

We have a choice regarding the role the anchor plays in our life. An anchor that:

  • Holds us down
  • We carry with us, and it weighs less than it used to.
  • Becomes the fuel to help ease the pain of others by supporting them in their journey.
  • Ultimately becomes a platform to serve, support and impact others. It may even become part of a larger mission and impact in the world.

Even if you never build a platform, create a business or coach and speak to others about your story, you deserve to have an anchor that weighs less or has less of a hold on you. An anchor that you may carry, yet it has no hold on you.

How does that sound?

How would that feel?

Does the word “light” come to mind?

If yes, it’s time to do something with your story. At the very least, it’s an anchor you carry, a badge of honor for what you’ve overcome. Here the anchor loses its hold, its pull and the weight it carries in your life.

That is my wish for you.  That you learn to embrace, even express some gratitude for your anchor and the role it has played in your life to make you who you are today.  Remember, we cannot choose what happens to us, yet we definitely can choose to control how we react and respond what life brings us. That mindset shift can completely change everything in your life!

Marsha Vanwynsberghe

Author, Speaker & Life Coach


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