Friday, 17 April 2015

April 17, 2015 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   What is your story?  Do you have more than one?  Does your story stay the same or change depending on the weather, time of year, who you talk to, etc.?


   We all have stories - stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves.  What we can and can’t do, what we believe or don’t believe, who we can associate with and can’t associate with. Our stories cover literally every area of our lives.


   Then there are the stories we tell others.  These stories may be the same as what we tell ourselves, or they may be radically different.  There may be a common theme, yet some details may change.


   The stories may be a tragic oh-woe-is-me type or an every-one-picks-on-me type.  They may follow a theme of I’m-only-lucky-if/when type of story.  It is rare to find many my-life-is-sunshine-and-roses type, though they do exist.


   Some stories end up being shared in a very public venue, and may be shown as the precarious house of cards that they are.  For example: the Canadian Senators being investigated for fraud, or the police officers in the United States who’ve shot and killed unarmed men of colour.


   Some stories can totally change us in particular situations.  When my four-year-old niece pretends to be me, it is amazing how her dexterity dramatically improves, as do other abilities that she doesn’t seem to be capable of demonstrating as her four-year-old self.


   But no matter what your stories are, or how true they seem to you, the real question is: “Does the story help or hinder your life?”
   Humans are natural storytellers.  We tell stories to connect to others, to share insights, to pass on wisdom, and simply to entertain.


   Thus, there is nothing wrong with stories in and of themselves.  They are only a concern when we internalize a story that isn’t ours and causes us to doubt who we are.  Or when we hang onto an old story that may have been true ages ago but no longer reflects who we really are.


   Just as we all grow and evolve through our lifetimes, so do our stories.  Why not look at the stories you live with and see what is valuable enough to keep and what stories have outlived their usefulness.  


Beth

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