Stories

We human beings love stories. Stories are how we make sense of the world. Our stories about ourselves, all the others and the rest of the world. It is useful to check our own particular set of stories, as well as the main emotional tone and core beliefs that underpin them. We tend to mindlessly buy into our set of stories, without reflecting whether they increase our happiness or our suffering.

Short-stories-trail-012

One story many of us are running concerns the state of the world, Brexit and the US President. We might run a story of despair, that things will continue to get worse. Alternatively, we might run a story of hope, that if we all work hard to change our corner of the world for the better, that there is a chance of a better world. Who knows which story is correct? I don’t much care; for me the most important question is which story serves the greater good?

I believe that we each create our own reality by the way we think, which includes the stories we tell ourself.

The same applies to our stories of other people. Do we buy into stories about how everyone is selfishly out for themselves? Or do we buy into stories about how we are all fundamentally good and doing our best in difficult circumstances? The news and entertainment industries are constantly feeding us stories of the former and it is often difficult to counteract these overwhelming messages.

So, I am very careful which stories I listen to, from all those available around me. It is good to check this out, if we are to be resilient against the endemic tales of misery surrounding us.

I have been happily watching David Eagleman’s BBC4 series ‘The Brain’ (available on BBC iplayer – link). This presents a wonderful view of how deluded we all are, how what we think determines who we become and demonstrates many reasons why we really shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously.

I particularly enjoyed an experiment where babies under the age of one – still unable to speak – were shown a puppet show, featuring a kind and helpful puppet and a mean and unhelpful puppet. After the show the babies were asked to choose which puppet they wanted to play with. Invariably they chose the kind and helpful puppet. This is the kind of story I am very happy to buy into – a natural tendency of human beings towards kindness and cooperation.

I was inspired to write today’s blog because I am currently listening to the Harry Potter audio books, beautifully read by Steven Fry. I love this story – it calms my control freak nature in that I know the ending. It soothes me that all ends as it should with love conquering hatred. Things get very bad before they get better and yet despite how bad things get Harry and his friends keep doing what they can to make things better. I can buy into this narrative and be inspired to keep doing all I can to change the world for the better. A useful story to listen to!

So, check out your stories – watch out which stories you are exposing yourself to – choose those which are soothing and promote your happiness and avoid those that make you feel threatened or inadequate!

Happy storytelling!

Kind Wishes,

Heather

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