The tales we tell ourselves

We all have those stories we tell ourselves… about our life; about our strengths, our weaknesses, our skills; about our abilities to get what we want out of life and about what we can accomplish; about fate, luck, destiny, karma, misfortune, setback, or hardship…

We all have our stories about ourselves… They are like trains passing by that we sometimes just blindly choose to board whatever the destination, whatever the price to pay, without even asking ourselves whether we actually want to go down that path and go for the ride…

A few things happened in my life that made me see how wrong we could be about our stories… Years ago I saw a picture of a younger me… Suddenly, the gap between my perception of my physical self and the photo in front of me made me see how silly it could be to waste time and energy on that. I could remember how at the time when the photo was taken, I was somewhat insecure about myself… However, looking back to that younger version of myself, I only wish I could have gone back in time to tell her to move on and leave all those insecurities behind… Life was just so much more than appearances… Pretty much right there and then I decided that going forward, I was going to live each moment as if I was the most beautiful I could ever be (which, for so many reasons, is true anyway).

Another time, as I was attempting to delete an ex’s phone number from my cell phone, I accidentally dialed his number. I immediately stopped the call but assumed it might still show on his end. It was only a few days later that I realized that I had actually dialed his number on his birthday. Oops! Can you imagine what his story of this coud have sounded like? I could only guess that had he seen the call, he would have probably assumed that me dialing his number out of nowhere was linked to his birthday. Well it was not… And that made me realize that I would be best avoiding giving too strong a meaning to what I see or witness unless I am 100% sure of my version of the story (which is pretty much never).

So I started doing my best sticking to facts and leaving judgments and perceptions as little space as possible. I am not necessarily successful all the time obviously… I get suspicious, susceptible, sensitive, sad and I do overreact sometimes… but once the dust settles, I think I am pretty good at wiping the slate clean and knowing the difference between what it might or could look like and what it actually is.

At the same time, I decided that as much as I was going to try not to follow every single thoughts that crossed my mind and hold it as the truth, I would also make up the stories that could make things look a bit brighter…. just change the storyline to my advantage here and there… make the narrative lighter, simpler, kinder, and at times wilder… since I would never be sure either way, in my story, it might as well go my way…

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