“You are not the story… you are the story teller.”
Today I want to share my musings around stories. I absolutely love stories. Stories are the elixir of hope. Stories show us what is possible and inspire us. But it’s not the stories others share that I want to discuss. I want us to turn our attention inwards to look at the internal stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of.
We all have a narrative about ourselves that has been created over our lives from our vast experiences, interactions with others, what others have said about who we are and more. But what I’ve found so wonderful to see is, as philosopher Alan Watts puts it, “Life is a magnificent illusion.”
So while we are a bundle of past life experiences that indeed have happened to us all, what is absolutely fantastically liberating to see is that we live in the feeling of our thinking, not in the feeling of the world or our external circumstances. Essentially life is a magnificent illusion because it’s all just thought.
This was mind blowing for me to see!
You see I, like maybe you do too, have had a soundtrack of stories going on my whole life that said I was never enough. I wasn’t smart enough to be a vet, I wasn’t confident enough to be a singer, I wasn’t attractive enough to be an actor, I was not disciplined enough, I was broken, I had been hurt in a bad marriage so I was un-loveable, I was not a morning person, I was scared of flying, I am not the sort of person who…..?????
But I saw only in the last couple of years around the time I turned 45, that ALL of these were just stories. And it didn’t matter how long I had been telling myself these stories either. It was all just thought I believed. But I actually didn’t have to believe it.
The field of psychology is full of different models that tell us that stuff happens to us – good or bad, it gets stored somehow in our brains and bodies, and shapes our personalities and what is possible for us both today and in the future. It suggests we can’t escape the past, and the best we can do is make the most of the hand we have been dealt.
While I’m never going to profess to being a psychologist, I believe this assumption to be wrong. You can drop the story. I’ve done it, and I’ve seen and heard many do it too… simply by seeing that we can.
Not only can you drop the story, you can create a new one! You can choose to do that every single morning you are blessed to wake up here. You can see that whatever story you have been telling yourself – and believing – that you are actually so much more than that.
You don’t have to change it… fix it… or control it. You can just let it go.
It doesn’t even matter if the story you’re believing is empowering or limiting, positive or negative, inspiring or depressing.
“You need to see for yourself that you are not the story, you are the storyteller. You are not the piece of clay, you are the sculptor. You are not the painting, you are the artist. You are infinite potential in human form.”
Thank you to Kimberley Hare for paving the way for this insight in me.