Friday, January 27, 2017

The Story We Tell Ourselves

In the first grade, Mrs. Morgan assigned us to write a Christmas story, and she chose mine to read in front of the class. When she finished reading, I was very moved by my own words, but the class had a different reaction. A fellow first grader turned to her neighbor and said, "Her mother wrote that story."

In my childhood innocence, I didn't know how to respond, and I didn't. I wasn't crushed; I surged with quiet pride. My mother didn't write the story, and if they suspected otherwise, it must have been a darn good story. 

 A writer was born. This became my story.

When my daughter was in junior high, she would tell me she was getting a PHD. I'm not sure why it formed in her mind; perhaps it was her father's footsteps she wanted to dance in. Throughout her school years, this was the story she told herself, and one evening many years later, I sat at the top of an auditorium watching my daughter and her husband receive their PHD's.

Story has power. We share stories with other people, but the greatest story we tell is to ourselves. Often over and again. Hence, how important is that story we tell?

When our storytelling students were asked to write their personal story in just one line, these were the lines:

Anything is possible through hard work and happiness.
Somethings never change and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I am going to become everything.
Some things are necessary.
I'm a little fish in a big sea.
Sometimes, listening is enough.
I make, I experience.
I didn't ask to be a pillow, and yet here I am.
Laughter is my life-blood.

The great thing about story is it is something WE create.

And recreate.

And recreate.

If your story isn't working, if it isn't inspiring enough, if it doesn't give you the strength needed to pioneer through,...

Create a new story...then publish it in your heart.