For thousands of years, human beings have been wonderful story tellers.
There’s a built-in yearning to get sucked into a story, to get lost in the drama of the moment, to orate and share your own tales with the world.
Modern story tellers include movie producers and politicians, actors and artists, mothers and fathers. As a society, we respect and admire great story tellers. It’s the reason films and television shows have become so immensely popular. They tell stories.
We each love our own stories, too.
I have a wonderful ghost story about the house I grew up in, which gets spookier and more intricate every time I tell it. It’s guaranteed to make your hairs stand on end, and I revel in telling it.
But by far and away our most common types of story are the stories about ourselves.
We’re great at sport. We’re pretty good at karaoke, but get nervous if singing in front of family. We love tomatoes, but they really need to be cored – or they make us feel a bit sick. We keep falling back into abusive relationships, no matter how hard we try not to.
These are our own “mini-stories.” And often, they’re harmless enough.
It’s when our stories start to hold us back that they become an issue…
“My name is Michael – and I’m an alcoholic.”
“I’m Jason – and I’m a failed father, and drug addict.”
“Yes, I’m Kyle – and I’m a homosexual with intimacy problems.”
Sometimes, our stories restrict us.
They define us as a very particular type of person, and ensure that we’re kept locked in our own self-created prison. Our stories pigeon-hole us.
Not only that, we also build on them – much like I do with my ghost story. We make them bigger and badder with each telling. We give the stories more power. Soon, our original stories become irrelevant – and our new stories take on a life of their own.
They eventually start to lead us, cripple us.
We carry the weight of our stories around with us each day. They stop us from achieving true freedom, they limit us to working a particular way – and yet we continue with the stories.
To use an Eastern term, our stories are our attachments.
However, not everyone lives like this.
Those that enjoy true freedom, individuals that are genuinely self-developed, know this simple fact:
You are not your story.
Whatever amazing story you can tell about your terrible past, how you’ve always failed time and time again, how life has dealt you an unfair hand, how things were just plain wrong, how you can’t break the addiction – you are still NOT your story.
Past results are not indicative of future performance.
What you were is not what you are.
It’s just what happened to you. It’s not YOU.
You are not your story. You are not your emotions. You are not your past.
And if you could just learn to let go of your story – you’d instantly release all of your baggage, and you could start today the way that you would like. Without limitation. Without issues. Without attachments. Without unwanted stories.
To some degree, our stories provide us with comfort. It’s the devil you know. The sick safety blanket. They enable us to indulge in self-pity, and enjoy a little sympathetic attention. But it’s pointless holding on to the story, because it’s limiting you today.
So, make a decision right now to be the change you wish to see you in your life.
Let me repeat that, because it’s exceptionally important:
Right now, make the decision to be the change you wish to see in your life.
Sit back and think of the stories you have formed about your life. All those great stories you have about how your marriage started falling apart in the early days, and how you’ve been rescuing it ever since. Great stories about the time you were bullied, and how it made you feel suicidal. Fantastic stories about how life sometimes stinks. Especially yours.
Think about one of your stories.
Then ask yourself: “Can I let this story go?”
Can I drop this story? (Even if it’s a good one?) Can I release this story? Can I unclench the tight fist I have around this story? Can I let go of desperately holding on to it, and making it part of “me”?
And, if you can, just do it. Let go. Breathe out – and release. Feel it drop away.
Don’t go into it. Don’t try to analyze the details. Don’t dig around to figure out the “hidden lesson.” Just ask yourself if you can drop the story. And if you can, do it.
Because your story, really, is ultimately just that. A story.
People cling to stories because they think they give their life meaning.
Life doesn’t have meaning.
The meaning of life is the meaning you bring to life.
What meaning would you like your life to have?
Make a decision to shape your own story, starting today – and you’ll discover a true freedom and happiness uncovering itself in your own wonderful life.