AND Create a New Story That Works

April 20th, 2014

I have been thinking recently about stories. Why do we create them? What function do they have in our lives?

On the subject of why we create them, at the broadest level, we make up stories to make meaning of our lives and world. The subset of reasons may include everything from entertaining ourselves and others to preserving identities that we want to believe (and want others to believe) about us.

What function do stories have in our lives? Sometimes we create stories to get ourselves out of bed in the morning. Other times we use stories to make ourselves the heroes of our own lives by creating all sorts of drama and casting ourselves in the leading roles. Sometimes stories function to help us feel good, worthy. Other times they inspire us and other people to new heights. The possibilities are endless.

The bottom line is that we create stories. We make them up. Something happens. Maybe someone at work or home says something. AND we set about reading into what was said to create a story. More often than not, we torture ourselves with worry about things that have not happened and will likely never happen.

Stories are always made up. That doesn’t mean that they are not true, only that they are not the entire truth, if they resemble the truth at all. Stories are always incomplete, limited by our unconscious mind. We can experience a moment fully. Once we step back to make meaning of our experience, including to record or document our experience, we are in our heads, clouded by all sorts of values and learned filters. AND by choosing what to emphasize, delete, or add in the telling of our story, we consciously or unconsciously distort the experience to fit our filters.

Since we create our own stories, or otherwise attach our sense of self and purpose to stories that others make up, I’m wondering what it would take to change a story. If we were to decide how we want to feel and screen how we feel in any given moment against the story we are telling ourselves, we could reframe (assign a new meaning) our stories and our role in them. AND then we could enjoy creating stories that create more joy, beauty, and peace in our lives and the lives of others.

Hmm…not bad. Then again this is the story I tell myself about what is possible. AND I like it so I’m, sticking with it. How about you?

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