“Personally, I love stories.”
I’ve always loved stories and over the years I’ve noticed most stories follow a theme or a story arch. Joseph Campbell called this the “hero’s journey” and I often hear this in every story I experience. I often see clients who are struggling telling their story in a way that they’re happy with at the end of the day. The thing is that it isn’t always cut and dry when it’s our story. The stories that keep us up at night, keep us worried about what happens next, or keep us afraid or scared of what could be often ensure that we don’t take the next step. And that’s part of what makes it a story.
Whose story is it anyways?
We’re all trying to write the best story of our lives and yet it can often be drab or boring or just blah. Too many days in a row or the same thing and we start to believe that our routine is writing our story for us. Or our work or responsibilities or commitments are writing our story for us. Or you name it, stress, fear, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, feeling too much or not enough…..all these things can take over and take control of what is really our lives.
How do we get it back once it’s gone?
How do we get back on track when “life keeps getting in the way?” There are lots of ways. One way that I’ve found helpful is asking “who is writing the story here?” Ultimately, who is saying what? It becomes about who is talking and who is listening. And I don’t mean you’re having a mental break and hearing multiple voices that aren’t there. I mean there are many parts of us with differing perspectives and opinions. For instance, “part of me wants to run away from all this and another part wants to tell everyone off.” We’re often at war with ourselves and there is a concept in psychology about the “warring self.”
Change is possible
This internal war is often our frustrations, fears, or criticisms doing battling with our deeply held ideas, dreams, and beliefs about the world. This war often writes page after page of a really good (or really bad) story. When we see and identify different sides of an issue, we can understand the issue in more depth and more clarity. We then have the option to change the story.
A new chapter
Understanding why the war continues is ultimately the key to declaring peace again.