We’ll talk about more strategies to help us break the spell negative feelings can cast over us later. But before we do it is important to realize that all of us are storytellers. As human beings we have a driving desire to understand things and to attach meaning to the things that happen to us. Therefore, when we go through experiences of life we interpret them. We tell ourselves stories about the things that are happening to us. These stores can generate either positive or negative feelings within us. But the important thing to remember is that we are writing the stories. We are the one making them either positive or negative.
For example: You pass a friend in the store and greet them warmly. In return they nod at you and move on. At this point you begin your storytelling. You can think, “How rude. At least she could have responded with a greeting,” and continue on writing this story. Or you can think, “She must have something weighing on her mind. She wouldn’t normally have acted like that.” And continue on writing that story.
If you tell yourself the first story, you create unnecessary pain. If you tell yourself the second story you live in peace and love--pain free! It is a choice—not a circumstance. Think about it. You really cannot know what is going on in the other person’s life. To take offense at what happens doesn’t accomplish one positive thing. It only causes you pain.
For the next few days, watch what stories you tell yourself. It is a very interesting experience to listen to your own self talk and realize what you are doing. Let me know what you discover!