AND Choose the Story You Want to Support

June 28th, 2015

Lately I have been noticing stories and the power we give them. We experience something in life. Then we assign it a meaning and create an entire script around what we remember, or choose to focus on. The story becomes the truth. AND we invest inordinate amounts of energy retelling it and acting as if it were the same as what we experienced. We are essentially amnesic or in denial that we deleted elements or focused on certain other elements to preserve the story as we want it to be.

Some of us cast ourselves as heroes. Others cast themselves as victims. We tell ourselves, and others, these stories and perpetuate them unconsciously. The stories we make up about others, according to our own rules about how the world should be and the role we should have in it are little more than creative accounts, if not pure fiction. They came from our minds and imaginations. Yet, we can make our own and others’ lives more difficult by spreading our stories to more people, thereby locking ourselves and others into caricatures. Of course, the reason we do this is to reinforce the image of ourselves we want to portray, to others or ourselves.

If we would acknowledge that we write the stories we tell, we could release them more easily. We might rewrite our own story to be the person we aspire to be. We might release others from the labels and stereotypes we use to reinforce a story about ourselves. It’s hard to portray yourself as a victim, if you cannot blame another for being the offender.

Many people rewrite history, whenever it serves the way they wish to be perceived. It’s amazing the things we portray as intentional and clear paths in retrospect that were actually times of discovery and wandering without clarity as early points in life. Maybe we are all closet screenwriters? Whatever the case, I suspect we could let go of these false images of ourselves and develop more compassion for others, if we were more conscious of the stories we make up and feed. AND we could allow the stories to be a mirror for us of what we seek in our lives and how we hold ourselves back by holding onto the stories we tell ourselves.

Imagine how much more compassionate, forgiving, and generous we could become as individuals and society, if we owned up to the stories we write as just that—stories. Some are worth telling. Maybe, if we were more conscious of the power of the stories we write, tell, and retell, we would recognize we created them. AND we can change them.

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