We all have a narrative running in the backs of our heads. This narrative helps explain our nuances and quirks. Things like why we hate the color green, or are afraid of commitment. These stories justify our actions and simplify the complexities of our own human experience.
In many ways these stories project who we are and how our life turns out. Like a self fulfilling prophecy.
Our stories are grown out of experiences of our formative years when we are trying to figure out the world and our place in it. These events can stick with us our whole lives. It’s these stories that are the reason for therapy.
I think it’s important not to judge these stories. We can’t help it. We will always make up a story to explain the things we can’t explain. In many ways these stories are how we can understand our experience in this life. This process of understanding comes alive when we read or watch a story that resonates with us. Just as a story can be freeing they can also limit our perspective. Blinding us of opportunities.
Sometimes I can get overwhelmed by my professional work. Feeling an onslaught of emotions creates a story of my lack of abilities. Obviously if I’m feeling that way it must be some indicator of who I am and proof that I can’t do what I do.
But that’s not always true. They could just be feelings from situations I haven’t experienced before. The story about my inabilities is nothing more than an explanation for those feelings. The story is a way for me to justify why I’m feeling anything at all.
But, the story is just a story. It could be a story about anything. It’s not that the story is bad it’s what the story is about that may or may not be helpful.
What is helpful is knowing the story isn’t permanent. The story can change, and be whatever it is I need it to be.