Three different thoughts occurred to me recently. Interestingly, they seemed connected, so I’m going to string them together in a series of posts for you.
The first one is about the ‘Stories We Tell Ourselves’ and how they impact our lives. The second post I’m calling, ‘Cease Fire’, and it is an opportunity for us to call a truce with ourselves. The third is an extension of the first two and is titled, ‘Claiming Your Best Life’ and may provide you a new perspective about the way you live.
I’d like to ask you a question first. Take whatever time you need to consider your answer.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the main story be?
Of course, there are tons of sub-stories, each with their own plot lines and twists and surprising endings. But, what is your main story about?
I’ll assume you’ve come up with something, even if it’s a quick answer. Now, give it a moment to sit with you, then ask yourself if it is YOUR story or the story others have told you about yourself.
When I’m in a reflective mood, I often conclude that I’m really repeating old stories I’ve been told by others or ones where I’m responding to what I think I want my story to be, but not what it is. It can be pretty confusing.
Here’s another couple of questions. Is your story mostly good or mostly bad? Has it taken the turns you want or fallen short of your expectations? And, how susceptible are you to complying with what others want your story to be?
These can be very difficult questions to sort out and work through.
The first story that came to me was, The White Knight. The protector, the fixer, the shiny one. I don’t think anyone told me this was MY story. Rather, I believe the image of the white knight and the values surrounding the image were appealing to me. I have little doubt that I built this image to make myself feel stronger and to give myself a sense of worthiness. I liked the idea of riding in and rescuing someone in distress.
I believe what happened over the course of my life was that I took bits and pieces of others stories and added them to my own. And, I listened to what others said when they talked about me and accepted what I felt fit and rejected whatever didn’t.
Although your story may be completely different, does any of that apply to your story? Do you feel that you created your story and modified it to suit a view you liked?
Or perhaps, if you are dissatisfied with your story the question becomes, did you accept too much of what others told you? Have you allowed their story of you, to become your story of you?
I know it can work this way. I’ve seen it happen in my own life, after all, White Knights do fall off their horses. And, there are also more powerful knights in the kingdom who gain favor by knocking white knights off their horses.
To me the biggest question comes when you arrive at the place where you no longer like YOUR story.
That’s where the next post continues, so please come along for the ride.
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4 Replies to “Stories We Tell Ourselves”
What a suspenseful cliffhanger! Eager for the next post!
Coming up Sunday at 7:00am, so hang on…
I vaguely recall hearing a spot on NPR about this very same subject. Everything about our lives is generally a story, and that story can vary depending on who we tell it to. For me, my story has generally been a telling of challenges in my life told with a dramatic flair to entertain.
It’s pretty amazing when you think about all of the stories we have about ourselves. I’m fairly sure I can’t keep them al straight.