Bo White

Ideas and Grace over Coffee

Stories That Shape Us

We talk in story form, have you noticed that?

When’s the last time you broke out in to song when someone asked you how your day has been? Have you ever responded to the question, “How are you feeling?” with a proverb? No. We are storytellers and each day the plot thickens a bit. We have new experiences, meet new people, and see new things. And each day, we try to make sense of our life through storytelling. We do this, either silently and to ourselves, or we grab a cup of coffee and try to do this with other people.

And in our ongoing story, that is our respective lives, we are also being shaped by other stories. The voices in your head that say ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘you deserve beautiful things,’ originated in a story somewhere. So, it’s important to note that not all stories are false and not all stories are fiction. But, we are all impacted by stories every single day and we are all participating in and writing our own story every single day.

And if this is true, then it’s important to pause periodically and understand two things. First, what stories do you believe to be true and what stories do you believe to be false? This is an important distinction and actually it reveals your worldview and how you see other people. Secondly, what stories allure you or draw you in and what stories repel you and sicken you? This is also important because it gets closer to what you think beauty is and what tempts you and what you consider to be evil.

“Once upon a time” is more than a fictional beginning, it’s the start of every new day we live. The writer, Studs Terkel, once quipped, “People are hungry for stories. It’s part of our very being.” Pay attention, then, to the stories you hear today as they reveal a bit about not only who you are, but who you want to be.

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