Coaching by Story – Tell me a good one!

The first man I ever loved left me for another
woman.

It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but
definitely something at first sight. When my
little boy tells the story of how I met his
father, he says, “and then daddy stood up, and
then mummy saw him and then she said hhhmmmmmm”.
Well, it was kind of like that. I was at my
friend’s house and when Greg knocked at the door,
I answered. He gave me that deep, knowing smile
that made me grin and speechless so that when he
called a day later, I was waiting for the call! We
had an amazing few head-over-heels months and then
I left the country for a reason that seemed quite
clear at the time.

I was reminded of him a few weeks ago when a very
old friend, Nancy, who was visiting from overseas
decided to get the girls from college back
together again; a dinner date, the first meeting
in 20 years. Nancy and Dina, my closest
girlfriends, had said that they would look after
Greg for me when I was away; we were all sure that
he would be so heartbroken and pining that he
would need to be kept an eye on. A few weeks
later, they introduced him to Tina, it seemed she
also wanted to keep an eye on him.

The plan was that he was to follow me overseas
once he finished studying. And then we would
figure out the rest of our lives, together of
course. 5 weeks later I received the letter that
told me that he had met and fallen in love with
Tina. It seemed that our true love was not so
true after all.

So, twenty years later and a lot of water under
many bridges, it was an hour or so before I was to
leave to meet my old college buddies. I checked
the email to find the address and noticed for the
first time who was invited to our meeting. Tina.

Of course with no connection whatsoever, I ran
back upstairs and changed my clothes an additional
3 times. It wasn’t that I wanted to look younger
or thinner, more sexy or more successful. I
really didn’t care much! There was no connection
whatsoever that I re-applied my makeup and redid
my hair.
I left the house and drove to meet up with my old
friends.

A strange coincidence that I happened to see
Tina’s blond curls before everyone else or catch
her eye first.
Our conversation was varied and interesting, a lot
to catch up on over 20 years. And I found myself
smiling a lot and reassuring everyone how blessed
I am, how life with a business and 4 young kids is
wonderful and as easy as you can imagine.
Actually, all my achievements had been without any
effort, all of a sudden!

Tina and Greg have been happily married for 20
years now. It seems they really did find true
love. I remembered that old saying, ‘it is better
to have loved and lost than never to have loved at
all’ and I thought to myself at that moment,
despite my great loves and great blessings, it
seems that once you have loved and lost, there
always remains a few tears that never dry up!

As I walked away from that surreal and amusing
meeting with people that really are not a part of
my life in any meaningful way, I realised that by
telling this story, I have the chance to make
sense of it all.

It is clear to me how strange and silly our
stories can become as we contemplate a perceived
judgement. How easily we can become distanced
from ourselves by the old stories we fall back
into. As we examine these stories we are
presented with the perfect opportunity to coach
ourselves to a better sense of where we have come
from and how we want to perceive our experiences;
we have been blessed in our ability to create
better and more empowering stories.

Meetings like this, stories like these are such a
wonderful lesson, such a magnificent example of
the power of our stories to delve into our past
and coach us to a better sense of ourselves in the
world, to celebrate our true blessings.

Our stories are the evidence of the life we have
lived, they are the proof of the great loves and
great losses; they are the essence of the human
experience.

For more on Storytelling, Coaching and
the application for Business and
Organizations, check out the program
‘Cinderella and the Coach – the Power of
Storytelling for Coaching Success!’

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