If you haven’t noticed yet, your life is made up of little stories. Sometimes they come together to create a novel and sometimes they are just short and succinct like newspaper articles.
We all grew up with stories: stories handed down through generations, stories that we were born in to, stories that we created in our heads, stories that we created ourselves, stories that we stepped into, stumbled upon or co-created with other people.
The plots are different. There are stories of empowerment, of slaying the beasts, of grief, sadness, triumph, of defeat, of death. The lengths vary from one liners, to 5 pagers, to chapter books! Regardless of the complexity and the length, it always involves a plot or a main event and person(s) of interest(s).
Now, it almost doesn’t matter what the main event is or who the co-protagonists and antagonists are, we are always the heroes and heroines to our own stories. And as we swash-buckle through the thicket of the challenges presented to us–may it be just choosing which restaurant to go to–our decisions create pathways to roads we have never been to.
Why never? Because unless you are psychic or have proven that you can control every minute moment of your life, our stories are never the same. The stage might be the same, but the movie that unfolds is always new.
So what does this have to do with what kind of storyteller you are?
I used to be and can still be, a suck-y storyteller when it came to my romance novels. It was really easy to personalize comments, statements, relayed situations, non-verbal communication and etc! Yet, I was the heroine who felt justified in her emotions. I was righteous in my perceived hurts. A common thought that popped up during these dramatic peaks was “How dare he!”.
I wasn’t the bubbly princess or the always-loved queen, all doe-eyed and with a perfect hint of blush. I was the cruel stepmother with way too much eye shadow. I was the storyteller full of anger and frothing at the mouth. This may be captivating at first glance but it wasn’t a story made to be retold. And yet, I revisited it when my triggers were sparked and I was flooded with self-pity.
This kind of storytelling was exhausting to relive and what I had to show for was guilt and shame.
I will paraphrase what Tony Robbins said about this because it became the proverbial nail to my bad storytelling coffin:
You don’t watch a bad movie over and over again, so why do you allow yourself to live in it? You change the channel when you don’t like something on TV, you can do the same for your life.
Yes friends, the stories we tell, the stories we’ve lived and are continue to live in, are just that–stories.
We are the creators of our own movies and we can control the script, the musical score, the characters we want to engage with and how we respond to the unfolding.
We can always choose which storyteller we want to show up consistently in the daily scene of our lives. Do we want a Morgan Freeman? A Snoop Dogg? Or a Cardi B. narrating our stories as we take a step in to our own realities?