Tell me a story! No, not that one. I’m tired of that one.
Ever try to read a kid a bedtime story? Me neither. But I vaguely remember what it was like to have one read to me. Some stories never got old. Goodnight Moon again? Yes, please. The Twelve Dancing Princesses? Loved that one.
I was recently going through my bookshelf in preparation for a move. Books are one of those things that make boxes go from “wow this is heavy” to “wow this is way too heavy I give up.” So in the interest of my sanity I decided to see if I could get rid of some of my beloved books. Five Decades of Pablo Neruda made the cut, so did Autobiography of Red, Make Way for Ducklings, and Soap for Body and Soul (I’m an aspiring poet with a clean inner child, what can I say).
I surprised myself by getting rid of about 15 books that I remember LOVING even just a few years ago. As I thumbed through their pages and re-awakened my memory, I found them depressing, uninspiring, and stagnant. Who was this person that loved them?
Sometimes we naturally grow out of stories, but sometimes we cart them around with us no matter how different they are from where we are in our current life. We latch onto them. We become them.
We are the story of the injury that will never heal.
We are the story of the one that got away.
We are the story of being too old/too young to do the things we want to do.
We are the story of would have/could have/should have.
We are the story of being too afraid.
What is the purpose of the story? Is it motivating you toward positive action? Do you feel powerful when you tell it? Does it keep you small? Does it prevent you from moving forward? Is it a story that had a purpose at one point but is now outdated? Are you in need of a new story?
The good news, stories are being written and re-written every day. In fact, we get to choose the story we decide to tell every day. Better yet, we get to author it!
What is the story you tell today? Is it the one you want to be known for? What does the next chapter look like?