What the stories we tell say about us
Founder of The Mindful Moment, Dr. Alexandra Domelle explores life lessons and the power of stories
We all have stories to tell.
These are stories of love, loss, heartache, and joy. These are moments from our lives, snapshots of victory, of fear, of longing, and desire.
Some stories we tell over and over — to ourselves and others until they are no longer tales but an extension of our being. Bound to these moments, we see our lives through these lenses, firmly believing them to be absolute truth.
Then there are stories we never speak of for the pain and hurt is still raw and still too deep. These too, we relive over and over, in their unspoken-ness unwittingly holding onto the memories that bring fresh waves of pain every time we think of them.
Some say our stories are what define us. They make us who we are. Of this, I am not so sure.
Our stories are what happened to us from our point of view.
And while they can be significant, I wonder about reliving them over and over.
Our stories are what happened to us in the past. So when we relive them in the present, we no longer pay attention to what else is happening in the now. The same goes for when we project our stories onto our future.
What do we miss out on while replaying these stories in our minds?
What new stories could we have created that are no lost to us forever?
Is there a single story that defines us?
Or do we pick and choose the moments that we feel best represent us?
How much of our story gets dictated by the lens through which we see life?
Revealing our stories takes courage, particularly if they are painful and speak of fear, doubt, and despair. We have come to revel in stories of success, of joy, of achievement.
What does this say to those who are still in the middle of their stories, who are still finding their way out of the dark?
Are their stories any less relevant than those that are said and done?
The truth is, no story ever ends.
A page may turn, a chapter may complete, but our lives continue with each moment, each breath, and each heartbeat.
There are times when listening to the process, to the moments in-between are just as important as the finale.
Despite this, we often think only of the endpoint, mindlessly pushing past the now, rushing blindly towards the happily-ever-after.
And for all the times we do this, how often does the end goal bring us happiness?
How many of us feel genuinely content once we have achieved our heart’s desire?
How many times have we wished that we could somehow turn back time and do things differently?
How many of us are so bogged down by stories of what happened in the past that we have stopped living in the now?
The stories we tell speak of our experiences, our emotions, and our expectations. Woven within this discourse are the lives of hundreds of others for no story exists in isolation.
Our presence on this earth cannot exist in a vacuum, and for this reason, we cannot help but touch and be touched by those around us. Thus each story builds upon another and relies on an intricate web of complexity that spans millennia and speaks of our oneness.
You and I are creating a story right now as these words connect us through space and time.
What moments are you reflecting on as you think back to all the stories you have created about yourself and your place in this world?
Are these narratives clear-cut or is there room to examine them from different perspectives?
What aspects have you clung onto and which have you let go?
As creators of our stories, we have a choice.
We can choose to be present and write our story with awareness of our thoughts, words, and deeds, appreciating and living fully in the present moment.
Or we can choose to live in the past, using stories of days gone by to define who we are while clinging onto that which perhaps, no longer serves us.
Or we can set our sights firmly onto the future, pursuing an end goal in the hope that it brings us the happiness we desire, of which there are no guarantees.
How you tell your story lays the foundation for the future. Stories steeped in fear can bring more of the same, while stories from a place of unconditional love — for ourselves and the world around us — open us up to the limitless possibilities of experiencing kindness, joy, and peace.
We all have stories to tell.
What will you choose: fear or love?