What story are you telling yourself?

Self Portrait Hippie Peace Freaks
From Hippie Peace Freaks

“We tell ourselves stories every day. This is a story. A story of how we take the events of our lives and turn them into memories. And of how we can remake those memories by telling new stories to change our lives.

Every story is built on themes and although there can be an infinite number of stories there are a limited number of themes. The stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what our lives are about are just so. We can be the hero, antagonist or victim. Our lives can be heroic or tragic, fulfilling or empty, happy or sad. It all depends on the story we write and the stage on which we perform.

Just as a stage contains props to support a play, so do we select from life’s myriad events the bits and pieces of evidence we use to support our life stories. If ours’ is a story of popularity, we remember only what supports that story. Conversely, if our story is that of rejection we’ll only remember the looks, remarks and behavior that make us feel rejected. We store these as memories and replay them whenever we want to relive or convince ourselves that the story is true.

Most of the time we don’t even realize how our life story determines what we’ll remember. Or how we force the events in our life to conform to that story….

Our memories are amendable and adjustable to the stories we tell ourselves. When we recall a memory we can subtly alter and update it to our story so that when the brain stores it again, it is no longer the memory it once was. That means if our memories are painful or unpleasant we can alter them simply by telling a different story when they arise. It also means that if we don’t like the story we’ve been telling, we cannot only change it but the memories that support it as well.

Memories are not just images that we replay in our minds but the emotions we bring forth as well. So if we can alter our memories we can also change our feelings.”

From Memory

From Memories

* * *

What story are you telling yourself?

7 thoughts on “What story are you telling yourself?

  1. […] What story are you telling yourself?. […]

  2. malootka says:

    Reblogged this on truthionary.

  3. nanuschka says:

    This is so true. My memory of a certain scenario and yours will be different. Our stories and memories are very much based on past experiences. Reblogging this on http://nanuschka.wordpress.com

  4. nanuschka says:

    Reblogged this on Nanuschka's Blog and commented:
    Our memories of situations differ based on past experiences. What stories do you tell yourself about your life. Take a step back and reconsider

  5. So true. One therapist I saw referred to “old tapes” — whenever I would (often) fall into negative and self-defeating patterns, especially self-blame, he would point out that these were old patterns and nothing useful to keep hanging on to today.

    Love the kitty/tiger portrait!

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment, broadsideblog. Like that expression ‘old tapes’. It is important sometimes to ‘change a tape’ to be able to move forward. Glad that you liked that picture 🙂

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