Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stories We Tell Ourselves

Stories are powerful.

We know that.

Particularly, when they hit us in the gut and make us feel something real, something memorable.

Which is why the narratives that we spin in our heads about the world and more importantly, our place in it are that much more indelible and life transforming.

It's the constant reel that goes through our mind as we're going about our day doing our thing.

"I can't do it.  I've never been able to do it."

"Oh my God, why is she always such a bitch?"

"Why can I never get it together?"

"I don't deserve it anyway."

You name it.  We make judgements all day long and determine who's good, bad, worthy, doing it right, funny, lame, incompetent, Messiah like.  And 99.9% of the time, all of the assumptions, the labels, the stories never leave our heads.  They're never fact checked.  They're never shared with the source.  They're just residing there, waiting to be pulled off the shelf when we want validation that that's how the world works.

And so it was over margaritas last night, that the girls and I were solving the problems of the universe.  First up on the list, why as little girls do we believe what others tell us about ourselves?  Why do we make their story our story?  If someone in high school calls you a fat ass, a bitch, or a slut, why does it carry any validity?  Why does it matter?  And why, God forbid, 20 + years later are you still believing it?  How did their story become your reality?

Likewise, when we're trying on "change" in our lives wanting to do something that we've never done before...why do we automatically believe the age-old story that we can't, we shouldn't or we never will?

Is it possible to believe that you're a winner before you've won?  Is it worth the effort to start crafting who you are and who you want to be instead of accepting the world's labels for yourself?

In one of my favorite books, "Love in the Time of Cholera" written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he encapsulates it with, “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

And if you want to begin reinventing or solidifying parts of you, it must begin with the story you tell yourself about who you are and what you are to the world....the action emanates from the beliefs.

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