I want to tell you a story. This is not a story like once upon a time. This is a story of possibility and potential. You see when we sit and contemplate our life we often have questions. We also have lots of judgments and criticisms. We tend to do the old scorecard or report card on ourselves. The story is what we tell ourselves to support the results. If we assess ourselves as poor or not good then we come up with a story to support our position. We don’t need anyone else to do this for us. We simply create our own. Likewise when things are good there is a story going on behind the scenes as well.
The stories we tell ourselves though are different in nature. They also have multiple sources. Some are culturally inherited legacies passed down from generation to generation. These are teaching stories. Each generation takes the story and adjusts and adopts it to their own.
Then their are family stories. You likely even heard some of these told first hand from a couple of generations prior to your own. These reinforce again a way of being a mode of operating.
These types of stories are external sets. They create the context in which we operate. Like the explorers of many many years ago, these are the stories that if we listen to them we stay within the lines. We do not challenge nor grow or discover. If the story says the world is flat it will then be the world is flat.
This then leads us to the other types of stores. These are internal stories. These are the stories we CREATE and tell ourselves. No one else makes these stories but ourselves. We can borrow from and be informed by the external stories but ultimately what we create within are our own personal roadmaps for our existence.
So for example early explorers in the Age of Discovery created a different story. They didn't take the going story of the time that the world is flat. No they instead considered inside themselves another point of view. They asked the question 'what if?'. They listened to this internal voice inside of themselves that asked the question as a different author.
More relevant to you today then is the dilemma that arises for you when the external and the internal stories clash. You may not have a barrier the size of flat versus round world, yet within for own life the challenges can feel equally as significant.
We also find that when the world throws us surprises or upheavals many of the external stories lose credibility if they are not in sync with our own. If you hold onto an interpretation of the world and then an event shatters this perspective what do you do? Well if you are externally driven you will feel lost, cast adrift and perhaps even emotionally abandoned or something to this effect. If you are internally driven then you will stay on course. You will still feel centred and aligned within and with your own self irrespective of what happens around you. You may go a new direction yet your sense of this direction is right for you.
Well the nature of the outcome of course depends entirely on the story you create for yourself. You see this is the crux of it all. Since the stories we tell ourselves are so important then creating positive and constructive internal stories is the ultimate ideal. Imagine if all your actions and thoughts were driven from positive and healthy stories you create and tell yourself. Originating in this way from your own self you will then project out to others and act accordingly. The only challenge you will then have will not be judgment of you or non acceptance but a sense that the story is connecting to people and either triggering their own or their awareness in themselves that they are tied to the external.
What happens when we come together?
Well here’s the true power of story. For you see I am creating my own personal set of stories. You are creating yours as well. The really powerful story emerges when we come together. When we are doing and being our story rather than saying my story wins out over your story we focus on weaving them together to get an even better story. Then each of us has a contribution to the whole. Consider it like adding chapters to a bigger book. Imagine each of our stories is a chapter in an anthology.
Somewhere at some level is an integration of these perspectives- the summary or the introduction. This is what we strive for as a community-not to replace the individual but to create a better whole.
Again the key here is that the source of stories is internal as a starting point within each of us as individuals. Only then will the rich tapestry and integration of a whole emerge. For if it were one story imposed on each of us we would all be acting the same and looking the same. Wouldn't that be boring.
So start spicing things up a bit. Create your own positive and constructive stories from within. Then invite and connect with others to share and evolve the collective story. Watch what happens and have fun!