We haven’t talked about Storytelling for awhile and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the stories we tell ourselves affect our lives. We write our own stories to explain why other people are doing the things they do. For example, your neighbor isn’t as friendly as usual. That is the simple truth of the matter. But as human beings, we like meaning and so we begin spin a story about it why she is so offish. Too often those stories are negative. We think things like, “She is so arrogant. She thinks she’s so much better than other people.” Or “Oh no, I’ve offended her. What have I done?” Or “She must not want to be friends anymore. She never did like me very much.” But it is just as likely that the story could be that she isn’t feeling well today, or she’s preoccupied with thoughts of the family finances, or she’s worried about a child, or she just received bad news concerning her mother’s health. When someone is offish there could be hundreds of reasons. But when we live in Truth we don’t create a fiction, we simply deal with the Truth—today my neighbor isn’t as friendly as usual.
But there are other ways—much more insidious ways—that we create unnecessary pain for ourselves by writing stories contrary to truth. These are stories we tell about ourselves and these stories tend to define our lives. That’s why they are so dangerous. We tell ourselves that we aren’t pretty or handsome, or smart, or talented, or athletic. Usually these stories are told as a comparison with someone else. We aren’t as good as the neighbor down the street because she bakes whole wheat bread for her family. We aren’t as pretty as a friend. Our home isn’t as fashionably decorated as our cousin’s. The list goes on and on and we’ve all done this! But each of these things is simply a story. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t as pretty as a friend. The truth is we are all pretty in some way. We might not bake bread, but tell me where in the scriptures it says you have to bake bread to be good? The truth is we are good in many ways.
Life is meant to be full of joy and goodness and to a large degree the amount of joy and goodness we experience is determined by the stories we tell ourselves. Right now tell yourself a true story about all that is right and good about you. Avoid any fiction that might come to mind. And if you say there is nothing good, you are lying. Every son and daughter of God has a “genetic” inheritance of all that is good. So stop writing fiction stories and stick to the Truth. The Truth is you are a beautiful, talented, capable son or daughter of God. Bask in that wondrous story.
PS Remember the book giveaway. Just one more day to enter!