We all live by stories. These are the things we tell ourselves about our lives. There is truth in these stories. We did grow up in that hometown. We did travel here and there. We did have these people in our families. However, we tend to add to these stories things that may or may not be fact. We add things like attitudes toward ourselves and others. We add other people's intentions even when we didn't ask them why they did what they did. In addition, we add our underlying beliefs about how the world works. We seldom question these stories. In fact, we often don't even realize that they are there.
Interestingly we all know we chatter to ourselves but we seldom stop to think about this chatter. We know we would like to shut this off especially at night so we can sleep but we often don't really reflect on the nature of this chatter. If we did stop to really listen to it we would hear the stories that we tell ourselves.
There is nothing wrong with telling ourselves stories. The problem occurs when we get hooked by these stories. For instance, when we tell ourselves that someone close to us deliberately did that thing to upset us. Or when we tell ourselves that we don't deserve that promotion, support, friendship. When these stories hook us we shut down. We withdraw and more often then not make things worse. We react negatively toward that person who we think doesn't like us. We stop asking our friends for help when we need it.
If we recognize that the story that we are telling ourselves is just a story and may not even be true then we might not shut down. If we recognized that the chatter was a story and not fact then we might not get hooked by it. If we see that we are building a story then might have a chance to drop the story line or go underneath where there is no story.
"Be the dog" my son said. We often joke about what our dog thinks but chances are she doesn't have a story line that gets her hooked. She is far too relaxed for that and seems to be able to go with the flow.
Going with the flow is what is underneath the story line. This is where there is open space, possiblities. This is where the story doesn't dictate our reactions. If we can tell ourselves to step back from the story, "be the dog", and look at the big picture then we can step away from feeling controlled. If we saw that we have the power to write, rewrite and even drop these stories then we would feel well more often then we currently do.
Take a moment and think about the stories that you tell yourself. Ask yourself how much of the story is true. Now see if you can "be the dog".