I watched a very inspirational TED Talk by a therapist Lori Gottlieb. I found her talk to be very inspiring and insightful. It made me think about this topic. She talks about the stories we tell ourselves and others that serve our ego, but doesn’t necessarily help us in real life.
What do I mean by stories? These are encounters about our lives we retell ourselves and others. It may do with arguments, disagreements, relationship struggles, life struggles etc,. We tend to tell stories from our point of view. We tend to see ourselves as the victim, the good guy, telling the story to make us look like the good guy. In reality, there is always three sides to the story, your side, their side and the reality. I won’t say this type of storytelling is on purpose. It is our way of protecting ourselves. We are hurt, so it is comforting to reflect blame on others and the world. Even if it may not be helpful. It helps to put the pressure off oneself. But by doing this, it also puts control away from oneself.
The thing is we like to label people and situations. This person is awful, bad, annoying etc,. Life sucks, things never go my way, bad things always happen to me etc,. We should try to be honest with ourselves and look into the reality of what is going on. You may even learn to see your own faults in the situation. You are not perfect, they are not perfect, life is not perfect. There is no right or wrong. It is just different perspectives. It is important to be honest with your story. Tell your story. It is okay to be hurt and share your feelings, but remember to also look into the story of the other perspective.
Maybe that person was a ‘jerk’ for a reason? Maybe that person got upset for a reason? Maybe there are other reasons the relationship didn’t work, other than they cheated, or are a jerk. Maybe there is another reason they aren’t talking to you? Think about what exactly caused the situation or reaction, instead of being in defensive mode and seeing things in terms of black and white. All situations have an underlying truth and reasoning. There is a root cause. We all have different backgrounds, upbringings, personalities. How you see things, won’t necessarily be how another sees it. Learning to be aware of the reality of our stories is a wonderful gift to have. That can help us manage difficult situations much better.
We tend to ignore and label people and situations. But we must remember our stories are from our perceived mind. We should learn to be aware that are stories aren’t always based on truth. Be honest with yourself. Also be honest with others. It is hard to tell others how we truly feel/think, but it is the one way to come to an understanding. Another way is to look at their perspective and see their story. It is not about the mindset of you are right, they are wrong. You are the victim, they are the problem. I am good, they are bad and vice versa. It isn’t that simple.
Sometimes you got to look at, maybe I was wrong, maybe I helped create some problems in this relationship, maybe I could have done more to help my situation. There is nothing wrong with being honest with your faults. It is not about self-blame or criticism.This is about having self compassion and respect for your imperfect qualities as a human being. Doing this can only help you grow and improve. Remember you can’t help others change, but you can do things for yourself. Asking yourself, how could I have handled the situation better?, what can I improve on? These questions can be very empowering and can only help your journey to self growth. This can allow you to not continue to do the things that creates problems in your life.
All this can help you grow and become a better version of oneself. This will allow you to come to an understanding. It will allow you to have peace of mind. Worrying, being angry, bitter upset about what others, and what life has done to you serves you no purpose. It is human to have these feelings and you should, but there is a time to come to an understanding, look within yourself, improve what you could have done and move forward. Learning to change your story.
So what is the point of my post. Here are the things to take from this.
- Be honest with the story you tell yourself(it starts with you)
- Be honest with the story you tell others(communication is the key to understanding others and others understanding you.
- Look into the stories of others(look at different perspectives)
- Put control back on you/Change your story(We are as trapped as our minds/thoughts are.We can do whatever we want if we don’t allow our thoughts to control us.)
- Understand and accept the reality of the stories we tell of our lives
People will hurt you. Life will hurt you. This is all part of life. You can focus on the story of how they hurt you, or you can focus on the story of how you can learn, and grow from the hurt. You can change you. Others and life not so much. Do what you can control. Focus your story on you and your growth.