The story we tell ourselves about something or someone defines the way we feel about it, or them. For example: A woman was standing in the queue to buy airplane tickets. When it was her turn, she asked for a first class ticket. The woman behind the counter said “it’s a small plane, all the seats are the same” and the woman freaked out. Started shouting and screaming, said she had the miles, that she was agoraphobic, that she had a bad back and needed all the space of first class… she kicked up quite a storm. When she had finished, she had sweat running down her forehead, her teeth were clenched, she was very angry (as I’m sure you can imagine). Then the woman behind the counter said “all the seats on this plane are first class”.
Stories are assumptions that we make and we tell ourselves they are true. We probably tell ourselves many more stories than we are aware of – the example above is full of stories – I’m an agoraphobic, I need to be in first class, small airplanes are small on the inside too…. and so on.
Or thinking that someone is always angry, always happy, always something puts them in your mind as that, without giving them the benefit of the doubt to be what they are in the moment.
This goes for ourselves too, what stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves can really have a deeper impact than we would think. I’m not saying that the stories are not important, but once we find the difference between a story that’s a narrative of some stuff that happened or a story through which we define ourselves and other people, we can let go of our assumptions and be with what is there, right in front of us, as it is. That’s so refreshing, because we don’t have to please anyone, as it free’s us up, too.
Here’s another story many people tell themselves – I’m not good enough. I can’t…. I shouldn’t, I should have. What is upsetting to me is that we embrace these stories so readily, rather than the ones that say I can and I did. We are all gifted and talented, it’s just that some of us haven’t found our gifts yet as we are too busy running away from the story we are telling ourselves about the pain in our life
Start here. Say out loud:
- I am just as important as anyone else.
- My opinions are as valid as anyone else’s.
- I give myself permission to stop identifying myself with my stories.
What are your stories? Take the week to observe yourself, to go deep with this, because you are worth it.