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Storytelling

We all have stories we tell ourselves about the people around us, about the lives we’ve lived, and about what our futures will be.  We create tales based on things people said, things we did, things we saw and things we want.  But of all these stories, the most powerful ones are the ones we tell about ourselves.

We tell ourselves stories about our worthiness, our intelligence, our abilities, our looks.  We make up stories about every single part of our lives, and then we live those stories out.  And too often, those stories suck.

We tell ourselves that we didn’t work hard enough.  We tell ourselves that we didn’t try hard enough. We tell ourselves stories about all the things we could have done and should have done and will never do.  We make up stories – and we believe these stories – about things that have happened in our lives, and then we spin those stories so they ultimately cast a dark pall over us.  Then we hide under this cloak of  stories for fear of what would happen if we came out and stood alone under the sun.

But what if we told ourselves new stories?  Stories that don’t say thinks like “I should have”, but rather, “I tried my best in that moment with what I had.  And that’s good enough.  And I can do it different in the future if I choose.”  What if, in our stories, we were always good enough. What if we were more than good.  What if we were great?

What if our life stories weren’t filled with doubt and judgement and shame and fear, but instead were stories of triumph and effort and heads held high even in defeat.  What if our stories were stories of love – for others, and our lives, and ourselves?

What if we took a chance to stand alone under the sun, faces upturned and smiling?  What if every story we had for our futures started with “I can” instead of “I wish”.  And what would our lives be like if we believed them?

It’s time we start telling ourselves new stories.  Stories where we are the winners.  Stories where we live with love and joy and overcome obstacles with grace and dignity.  Stories where it is okay to make a mistake – or ten – and where defeat doesn’t equal a diminishing of your worth or abilities or future prospects.

Tell yourself a new story about your life.  A story that starts and ends with you being wonderful and perfect and doing nothing wrong.  A story that is full of lessons and possibilities rather than mistakes and missed opportunities.

You will live the story you tell yourself, so tell yourself a story of love.  And believe it.

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8 thoughts on “Storytelling

  1. I picked this up from elsewhere but I always like to visit the question “Who would you be without your story?”

    This morning I was pondering at what age do we start to talk about the parts of our past that make up our story? When do we start believing that we are our past? Why do some of us choose to live from there?

    For the last few days I have been hanging with my good high school friend and there are stories of our pasts that we had never shared before at least not in high school because back then we were focused on the “now” and moving forward in life. I thought it very interesting. I am deciding in this moment, at this very instance, the past is done, who cares… I am moving forward into this moment and the next NOW.

    I am also very proud that you are getting down to writing every day! Happy writing!

  2. And it’s amazing how easily and readily we latch-on and continue the negative stories and how difficult it is to convince ourselves of the more positive ones. To quote Vivian in Pretty Woman (always a source of insightful quotes) – “the bad stuff is easier to believe.”
    It’s time to stop believing the bad and start believing the good.
    Great stuff girl!

  3. Inspirational for sure. I do have a lot of negative stories and never quite thought of those stories as you have explained them above. Thanks for enlightening me today 🙂

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