It seems that the stories we tell are embodiments of all our decisions, conscious or not. They express not only an event, but also who we are deciding to be in response to an event: our identity.
This identity becomes something that drives us to do and become something we value. It may even have been given to us by someone else. All stories are essentially adopted from some other account. None of them are original. They feel like they are ours, but they’re really just stories that we take on, and which many other people are telling themselves right now. The truth seems to be that those stories were here before we were here and will be available after we leave.
The stories aren’t bad or wrong. They were never true. They never are. I think we are just attracted to them because they help us move forward in our lives. They are valuable and necessary beacons.
The question to ask now is, is the story we’ve created still valuable? Has it become an excuse for inactivity or dysfunction? Is it helping me or hindering me?
We must periodically reevaluate our stories because we are constantly changing. When we find the story isn’t as valuable as it once was, we simply replace it. That requires the end of one story. Stories can like this: “I used to say my mother and father were the reason why I felt anxious and uncomfortable— until I realized I was the one sitting at the control panel of all my thoughts and emotions.” “I was abused and that was why I could not feel safe, until I learned to feel safe by practicing every day till I got good at it. Now I realize feeling safe is a feeling I can give myself.”
A story that I like replaces the one that propelled me in the past. I’ll stop telling one story and then start telling a new story that seems to offer more value.