Many of us have “stories” that circle through our head with each life experience. Some of these stories are generative, while others can be destructive. Ultimately, we want to keep and maintain the positive or generative stories. However, the destructive stories can negatively affect our self-esteem, our relationships, and our outlook on the world around us. Not only may these stories affect our ability to function in the world, they impact our ability to stay present to what is happening in the moment.
Each story that runs through our head may be initiated by any number of events: a specific word, a friend’s reaction, the death of a loved one, someone cutting us off in traffic, receiving an unexpected bill, or any number of minor or major moments in life. One of the keys in dealing with our stories is to become aware of them – especially those stories that negatively impact our world view. Another key is to discover a creative way to bring the story out of the depths in our mind, bringing it into the light, and empowering us to change the story we tell ourselves. Sometimes, this might entail creating an entirely new story or it might just mean transforming the negative story into a positive one. The final stage is about maintenance – to continue telling ourselves the new or modified story until it becomes automatic.