What’s Your Story?
“We all tell ourselves stories to live” Joan Didion
Human beings live and breathe in stories, they are natural storytellers. This characteristic separates us from the rest of creation. Storytelling is part of our nature and something we do whether we are aware of it or not. In fact, we tell stories with their characters, settings, plots, conflicts, and resolutions all the time. We tell stories about ourselves, about others.
Our stories bring life or death to our relationships whether that be at home, work or with ourselves. The reality is we tell our stories through our lives, and they contribute to the fabric of our community. For example, notice what you experience when you read the names listed below:
We have the power to change perspectives in an instant. We can go from being empathetic to victimized in a moment. The lens we look through will determine the quality of our conversation. Are we looking through a lens of grace, understanding, and love or are we looking through a lens of regret, anger, or fear? The lens determines the outcome of any story and the conversations we have within each story.
Conversation is the space where we host our stories. We are always one conversation away from changing our lives; a single discussion can turn a relationship around. Adapting a narrative about who we are, or changing our perspective about “what happened to me” in the past - can bend our future toward a happy ending or a disastrous one. We get to choose each, and every day what story we live in and what conversations we have with and about others as well as ourselves. We mark the lives of our friends and loved ones through the stories we live out with them. Each conversation we have with others has power to change everything. Themes that run through our communications can be pivotal to the quality and direction of our relationships… such as forgiveness, grace, and humility. Or bitterness, anger, revenge. We have the power to alter our future, and even the future of the world through our stories and conversations.
Think of some recent conversations you have had in your life. What stories have you been telling yourself and others? Which ones are serving the vision for your life which are detracting from it?