Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

I made an observation the other day about riding the bus and how it made me nostalgic for junior high/high school bus rides. Dana made a comment about those were painful memories for her. And that got me to thinking that for a long time I believed that about my experience as well - (certainly not making any judgments on Dana's experience here) - it's only been recently that I feel like I can look back and get different, more complete perspective. Yes, a lot of that was painful and for the very reason Dana cited - "Kids can be cruel." But there were also fun times. I'm finding myself looking back and smiling a bit more, rather than cringing.

I also saw a 1978 Monte Carlo the other day and just busted out laughing. I drove a POS like that and felt such shame about it. Parts would just fall off of it - I can't even tell you how bad this car was - and I can finally laugh about it, rather than feel shame. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that we view our own history, our own selves through the lens of our personal perspective and experience and sometimes we are wrong. It's interesting to get a different viewpoint when I let up a bit on the grip my stories/truths had on me. The more I let go of those things, the more new things come to me - in the form of joy and laughter.

Another story that I told myself was that I didn't like people. Turns out, I like people just fine. I like being around people and if I am "open", then people respond to me. I'd created my own experience and created a self-fulfilling prophecy by walking around with, well, I won't call it a scowl, but certainly a "deep in thought" look that really was an avoidance tactic. I used to want to be invisible and now I don't.

It will be interesting to see in how many other ways and in other areas of my life I've been telling myself stories that are no longer true. One fabulous thing about recovery work is that you get to poke and prod around for just those things.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Bring your thoughts into the light for some examination.



  1. Perspective is an interesting thing...the further away I get from something the better mine is. I love how open you are to learning about yourself during this recovery process!

  2. How funny. Before I saw Shelly's comment I was going to say It's All About Perspective. Great minds think alike.

    I'm sure I could think of some good times. They weren't all bad.

    I had a little Datsun truck. That truck was the best. I jumped a 3 foot retainer wall in that little truck. Yep, good times!

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  4. This is going to start a whole raft of "I remember riding the school bus" entries. And not from just me!

    I rented a '77 Monte Carlo for my Senior Prom. I really loved that car. For the whole 2 days I got to drive it. Then I saw the '78 version. What a way to screw up a perfectly good car!

    Row, row, row your boat . . .

  5. I started looking at the present through a new filter, but I never thought about doing the same for the past. Thanks, Roxie. What a great insight!

    There is a lot of positive, if we care to see it and look for it.

  6. I've thought about this subject a lot in the past couple of years. In general people seem to really like to hold onto their stories. That way they feel justified for their feelings.

    My former bf was notorious for stories. He would repeat and repeat the same stories over and over. Do you know he won't give money to public radio because one time years ago he gave money to a radio station and the station went off the air? That was just one of many. And the local hospital tried to kill his kid? *eyeball roll* I described this kind of story telling as pulling a cart or a woe wagon around with him, where-ever he went, he could reach back into that cart of trauma and fling the same GD story so you could understand why he felt the way he felt or why he did things the way he did them. A wagon of insanity...

  7. it is so funny how things can bring back such memories -smells do it a lot of times for me

  8. Crazy thing is, a lot of those stories come from a base of fear. Unfounded fear caused by projection. My mom always said if you tell the same lie enough you'll begin to believe it. Same thing, right?

  9. I always loved to ride the bus when I was in school. I just did for 2 years... I remember one time my favorite bus driver let us know that it was going to be her last day, and I rode 3 stops past my normal stop, just so I could say goodbye to her last. Sort of strange as there wasn't any real special thing about her, not even sure she knew my name. I just think I've always been a sentimental girl and have always been emotional about my relationships with other people.

    Glad you're looking through a "new" window into your past! Must feel good to do so!

  10. Please don't hate me for doing this...I volunteered you to deal with a virtual easter basket.

    Go to my blog post today and grab it for your blog and do what I did, please? It raises money for the children's miracle network which I think provides chocolate for me. Pls!!! No, it raises 10 bucks per blog that participates for this charity. Thanks! You have until April 4th.


We'll try this for a while.