Why Do We Need Stories?

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I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and you laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. 

Clarissa Pinkola Estes



Stories give shape to experience and allow you to go through life with clarity. Without stories, life events and experiences would float around in some nebulous cloud and none of it would mean anything. When you have a particular viewpoint of what happened, the wonderful aspects of being human can come into play. You can laugh, feel inspired, be compassionate, become outraged, and become motivated to change things. They help you connect and feel less alone. They are your guidepost, your prayers, your history and the vehicle to discovering and expressing your soul. There are stories that celebrate and others that offer you a challenge.

Stories reflect your perception of events, experiences and the world. They influence your interactions with others, the quality of your relationships, your sense of emotional well-being, and even your physical health. They shape your expectations, who you believe you can become, or can achieve in life. Your story affects how easily you steer through change, and it can keep you stuck in cycles of stress, worry, and fear. It is your interpretation of what you believe to be true. This rendition is based on your beliefs and weave together to create a story about who you are and how the world works. If these perceptions and interpretations are reinforced by your environment, the more real they appear and the truer the story seems. The story becomes so engrained that you believe it is the only one that could exist. Your perspective then becomes your truth. The question is, does it support you?

Why do you stay in the stories you create? Story helps you understand the world and assimilate your experience of it, providing you with a view point. Sometimes that becomes contorted. Your unconscious beliefs are like an invisible story line that you carry around all the time. For example, if you adopted the belief that you are not significant, you carry the “I’m insignificant” story. Everywhere you go you are projecting, “This is the story of who I am and how the world works for me. You are requesting others to assume the illusion is true, and help sustain it.” There are plenty of people who are willing to cooperate with you.

How do you change the story? Einstein said that you can’t solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created it. To change the story you need to look at reality in an entirely new way. Transformation comes when you change the question from “what is this person doing to create this feeling I am experiencing?” This does not claim ownership of your perception which might be flawed. A more self-aware question might be, “If this reaction is occurring, what story line am I carrying?” Doing this you become aware of the story line, and it gives you the opportunity to change it. You can choose to let go of a limiting belief and respond differently. When you look at your “reality” in a new way. You get less stuck in reacting, and you learn how to clear the beliefs that make up the story. Your awareness grows and you learn to participate in the story you are creating. As a result, the story no longer rules you and your experience of reality changes. I encourage those wanting to explore this further to read Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is.
http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/101486/Why-We-Need-Stories.aspx
http://www.powerctr.com/

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