Do you make up stories in your head?
My imagination has been a blessing and a curse.
Years ago, I was listening to a podcast with Brene Brown after I had devoured her book Daring Greatly. I read that book cover to cover without putting it down - and so I was hungry for more, I listened to every podcast she had been interviewed on at the time.
In one interview she said something really casually and it was like lightning in my body. I pressed pause, and said out loud, to myself “what the fuck did I just hear her say?”
It spoke straight to my soul. It was a truth that I needed to hear. I integrated the wisdom instantly.
She was talking about disagreements with her husband, and how because we can only ever interpret something from our own perspective - it’s likely we are always interpreting things inaccurately.
“I’m making up the story in my head right now” she tells him, which prompts her husband with the opportunity to offer up his side of the story, correct her interpretation & immediately resolve the conflict before it escalates through a lack of communication.
I was separated from my first husband at the time and the pain of the way our lives were being torn apart was so incredibly painful that some days I literally did find it hard to breathe. I couldn’t understand how someone that had once loved me so much could hate me so much now and I realised in that very moment, that I actually had made that story up within my mind.
I had made up stories within my marriage too. Assumed things. I thought I knew what he was thinking, what his motivations were, what his intentions were. I would often take my position and shape my response without even having a conversation.
How many of my reactions had been completely inaccurate? How much of my life had been a story told only from my perspective?
What had I missed? What had I made up?
I still catch myself doing this sometimes, but I am now aware of it when I do it.
We all have the ability to do this. How many times have you replayed a conversation over and over in your mind. How much energy do we often spend misinterpreting it before we are corrected?
No matter how empathetic or intuitive we think we are, no matter how well we think we know someone, we can never know how someone else is feeling unless they tell us.
Everything we think we know are just stories. And the story teller ? It’s our egos. Our ego shows up and tells us stories to either make ourselves feel empowered within a situation, to feel better or to force a solution to a problem we are uncomfortable with.
Knowing that you have the ability to do this is so incredibly liberating. It’s freedom from the out of control spiralling that occurs within us as we get lost in trying to interpret, analyse and understand someone’s behaviour.
This is particularly useful in a break up because we tend to be more reactive and more sensitive to what our ex is saying or doing.
It’s just as useful in relationships you honour, because it will save your from the mess of miscommunication.
If a thought originates in your mind - it is your thought. Yours. But here’s the important thing about that - you have to be aware that just because you have thought it - that does not make it true. Our thoughts are tricky things. We have to stay conscious of that.
Journalling regularly has given me a powerful opportunity to read the story I’m telling myself daily. To objectively look at the narrative playing out within my own life.
“The story I’m telling myself is…” has become vocabulary I use with myself when I feel overwhelmed by emotion. It helps me to identify the thoughts that are being produced in response to how I am feeling.
Then, I offer myself the space to see if I can take a wider perspective.
When we find ourselves in conflict, we can unhook ourselves from stress and suffering and frustration simply by telling ourselves a different story.
We can acknowledge “I don’t know why they said that or did that… and if I can’t ask them, then I owe it to myself, and to them to not tell myself a made up story to fill in the gaps”
Remember - it’s your thought, not theirs.
Side note: after my divorce was finalised, and the dust settled, my ex and I had many conversations .. and he had never hated me. That was a story I had been tormenting myself with… and that in itself is a story for another day.
Watch a free workshop now!
BREAK FREE FROM NEGATIVITY AND DRAMA CYCLES
19 minute transmission from the heart of Lena Moxon.
Activating your willingness to step up as the leader of your own life & write the next chapter of your story.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.