Author Richard Kearney says in his book On Stories “Telling stories is as basic to human beings as eating. More so, in fact, for while food makes us live, stories are what make our lives worth living.”
Isak Dinesen says, “To be a person is to have a story to tell. —”
Author David Denborough, Ph.D., writes “Who we are and what we do are influenced by the stories that we tell ourselves…There are many different events in our lives, but only some of them get formed into the storylines of our identities. Whatever storyline we have about our lives makes a difference in who we are and how we act.”
Through a story, we can pretend to be somebody else or go somewhere else, without taking on the risks or expense ourselves. We can even do the impossible, like travel through time or explore the universe. Kids play pretend from a very young age, and through various kinds of stories, we never really stop.
The stories we love to hear, read, and watch and the ones we tell ourselves, shape our lives. These stories shape how we interact with others, and even how they interact with us. They shape how we feel about ourselves and what we think we’re capable of.
When I was very young, I experienced stories that started with once upon a time and ended with happily ever after. A look in my rearview mirror reminds me of occasions when mother and daddy made up stories with specific messages intended to modify something undesirable in my behavior.
When I learned to read and could choose my own books, as an only child, I loved stories where the central character not only had exciting adventures but also had “special” friends with whom to share them. Innocently wrapped in my early story choices were hints of my current love of adventure and mystery and sharing.
Stories shape the decisions we make, everything from the partners we pick to the activities we participate in. If we spin a story that we’re not good enough, we just might pick a partner who doesn’t treat us very well. If we spin a story that we’re stupid, we might not submit our resume for the job we’ve always wanted because well, we won’t get it, anyway.
Join Denise Fayne as she takes us through a few of the intergenerational stories she grew up with, grew into, and ran from that have helped make her who she is today. We had fun around the Frankly Speaking virtual, global, table.
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Subscribe: RSSUntil next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.