We all have stories to tell, even those of us who feel that we are not at all “interesting”.
Because, whatever our story, it is just ours, nobody else’s. Only I have my exact set of experiences to tell; only you have yours.
How we tell that story differs with time, and from hearer to hearer. When we go to a business meeting, our story is about the enterprise at hand; at a social gathering it will be about the common interests we have; at a family gathering, about the family and its history.
And yet these are not separate and distinct stories, not different people all within the one frame. They are just different facets of the same story – edited highlights, if you will, that illuminate one part of the whole.
The story of our life is all about interconnections and how we interact with others’ stories.
And our stories are made more compelling and more interesting because we cannot tell one part from another. Friends have become family; families have become part of our work life; work associates have become friends.
Our stories can disclose to others a part of what we are like – or can be used to hide our true selves. We can sometimes – either deliberately or by accident – promote a picture of ourselves that is untrue. This may be because of a fear of self-revelation, or a real feeling that we are not good enough.
We may seek to sound better than we are; that we have done more, seen more, experienced more.
But when we do that it can quickly become complicated. We can lose sight of who we really are by creating a façade that we have to protect at all cost.
Apart from anything else, living a story that is not ours is tiring! We have to remember what we have said to whom, and hope that those we tell different stories to do not meet. Whilst honesty may or may not always be the best policy, it is always easier.
Our stories define who we are – all unique, all having different perspectives and experiences.
Let us celebrate our stories – all of them – and continue to listen to the stories of others.