I got a book by Elle Luna and Susie Herrick’s “Your Story is Your Power” at the recent Wisdom 2.0 conference. I picked it a) because I liked Elle Luna’s previous book and b) as I truly believe that your story is your power. And sometimes in order to get into that power we need to revisit and re-tell old stories.
So it got me thinking about my stories. In the book they use Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Snow White to describe how these stereotypes in these books shape our lives. And yes they do, but here is the thing.
I grew up in Germany and while Cinderella is one of my favorite Grimm’s fairy tale, there were other stories I heard and lived by too. Stories of Heidi, a strong, independent, joyful, curious and smart girl who was sent to live with her granddad. Or Red Zora, also an orphan and the leader of the gang, or Pippi Longstocking.
All of them strong female characters who overcame obstacles and often had a lot of fun and mischief doing so. I identified with them as they resembled the strong female leadership in my wider family. The stories my grandmas told me about surviving the war, hunger and fleeing from the soldiers (who in their anger went for the women and girls).
And each and every one of them had made their mark in live, had worked hard for their family and were still loving, caring and supporting each other. It never occurred to me that girls and women would not be equal, or that beauty makes you better than others or that the prince needs to save you. The stories of my life were that the women are the saviors, the nurturers, the supporters and very often even the providers. And the message I heard over the years was more along the lines of… You can do it, you just need to be strong, independent, determined, forget the pain and hardship or the sacrifices you have to make to keep going.
And yet, here is the thing, the methods used to overcome all hardship, were not necessarily healthy. Pushing the stuff away, numbing and moving on, instead of really telling your own story and addressing the emotions involved is what leads to generations of trauma. The stories not told, shape your kids and grand kids. The feelings not expressed, shape your kids and grand kids.
And that is why I love books like “Your Story is Your Power” - it is also your kids and grandkids power.
Contact me if you like to work with me on your own powerful leadership story and set up your BREAKTHROUGH SESSION.