Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

~ Satchel Paige ~

Stories You Tell Yourself

October 25th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 53 secs

What are your stories?

Behind the stories we tell everyone else, there are stories we tell ourselves. These differ from the favorite tales we convey to family and others. We recount them because they’re disturbing, funny, or in some way able to impress.

But they are vastly different to the stories that we never declare, at least not to anyone else. Though our secret tales lack crowd appeal, it doesn’t stop us continuing to tell them to ourselves.

Why do we hang onto stories so much anyway?  Surely, we’re grown up enough to not to need these things anymore. Aren’t we?

Think of fairytales – those stories we routinely regard as children’s fables – were, for the most part, told by adults to other adults while children listened in. Heavily laden with symbolism and double meanings they were meant to entertain adult audiences so well, they invite retelling as well. Having such a rich oral tradition of stories and legends suggests more to stories than modern reasoning implies.

Consider stories in terms of their meaning and, suddenly, their power looks less surprising. The more we believe in them, the more potent each one becomes.

Telling yourself nobody loves you (for instance) and embellishing that thought with enough “evidence” reaffirms the tragedy “reality” of this tale. Like so many other stories we keep coming back to with belief, each steers our course to define our destiny.

Referring back to our collection of stories might seem strange. But their benefit is in helping us make sense of our situation and feelings.  Then, as we keep revisiting them, our reaffirmed belief proves them true.

Whether you keep reminding yourself that: you’re a kind person, a liar, someone of courage, or a desperate failure… these stories continually confirm who we believe we  are. Yet, they aren’t the whole show. There’s more to you than your collected stories will ever tell.

Aside from wanting to inspire you into finding better stories about your self, I believe it’s helpful observing with our stories switched off. Just to drink in experience and suspend your opinions for a little bit reveals a whole lot more about you, your surroundings, and bigger life too.

Dare to openly explore your stories, as you perceive them. Ask who made them up, and how they came into being.  You’ll often find some tales deserve tearing up. While others merit more frequent retelling. It’s your call. But for a life of happiness, accepting reflection is necessary and deeply beneficial. Look, feel, and listen to what you are saying, until you see behind your stories. Then, by becoming conscious of your stories, you can mindfully rewrite your outcomes.

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