Marina Lombardo, LCSW
Within Every Challenge...

...Are the Seeds of Opportunity

Summer 2009

In This Issue...

Feature Article
What's New
Feedback from Readers

Marina Lombardo
Psychotherapy, Counseling & Personal Coaching
Lake Bennet Medical Center
1151 Blackwood Avenue, Suite 120
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 615-0848

Welcome Everyone!


Here’s a question for you:


What’s your story???


Everyone has at least one, you know. From the moment you first learn your name, the creation of your story is underway. Concepts like “me” and “mine” form your identity, evolving into “the story of you.”


Feature Article

Living Beyond Your Story

Your story unfolds over time. Things happen, and, without realizing it, you perceive these experiences through the lens of your story. Stories act like a filter—between what is actually happening and how you interpret what is happening. Like a pair of eyeglasses, your story determines how you see a particular situation. Labels like, “lucky,” “successful,” “failure,” or “abusive,” become attached to who you believe you are.


Want a glimpse of your own story?


Step back and recall some of the twists and turns your own life has taken—a job layoff, a failed marriage, or challenges with your health. Pick one, and ask yourself, “What is the story that I’m telling myself about this situation?.”
(Hint: Since stories have a repetitive pattern, if you find yourself complaining about something more than three times, odds are you’re in your story!)


For example, losing your job could translate into, “I never get a break, no matter how hard I try.” The story around a failed relationship might be, “Women are all alike; I can’t trust anyone.”

Why do you get attached to your stories?


Stories provide a sense of safety; if you can fit your present experience into a box of what has happened to you before, you feel like you have some control over the situation. Stories are also a way to avoid dealing with painful feelings, and can seem to help you make sense of difficult things that have happened in your life.


But as much as stories appear to be a convenient way to sort life experiences, they are overwhelmingly problematic. Stories keep you stuck and prevent you from seeing things as they really are. As a result, your story stands in the way of discovering a solution to what is challenging you. You end up having a relationship with your story, rather than with life itself. Your days end up feeling dried up and stale…the same damn thing over and over again!

So how do you get beyond your story?


Well, the first thing you need is a little bit of courage—and the willingness to answer the question, “Who am I without my story?”


If you’re open to finding out, here are four simple questions that can help get you started on your journey of discovery…


The next time you find yourself triggered by a situation, no matter how minor, stop and take a breath. Then ask yourself:


What is the story that I am telling myself about this present situation?
Acknowledge this as your story. Then ask yourself:


What are the facts—pure and simple?


Then based on the situation as it is now, ask yourself:
How would I like things to be?


And finally,
What is a step I can take that would move me in the direction of my goal?

At first, it may feel radical to live beyond your story. But the rewards…a life that is fresh, exciting and new in every moment, is more than worth the effort!


Until next time…
Be well!


NOTE: Some of you may have received this newsletter twice this quarter, for that I apologize. was moved to much more secure servers and has had to make some adjustments to the way we send the newsletter. In so doing we had to send a second mailing to make sure all subscribers received a copy.


What's New


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful therapeutic technique that can heal trauma and maximize personal resources. Issues like trauma, depression, pain, anxiety, grief, relationship issues—even personal coaching—often respond beautifully and rapidly to EMDR treatment. As a certified EMDR practitioner, I get to witness little miracles in my office every day!

The new textbook for EMDR clinicians, entitled Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: EMDR Scripted Protocols, for which I am a contributing author, will be available soon!


My book, I am More Than My Infertility: 7 Proven Tools for Turning a Life Crisis into a Personal Breakthrough, is available through


These tools are universal and timeless, and can apply to any crisis or life challenge.

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