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October 29, 2011


Liberating ourselves from our stories

by maithrigoonetilleke

Each of us has a story. Every story has a pulse, a rhythm. Yet the heart beat of  the story we tell the world, is seldom as real as our own heartbeat. The colours of our history never truly capture the spectrum of light and shadow in which we are earthed.

Perhaps this is because the arms of a single linear story line are simply too small to wrap around the vastness of  being which resides in any human person. Some part of us always remain untold.

I’ve noticed that the way in which someone initially relates to me is coloured by the story which they have of me. If they know me as a doctor who works in Africa, their attitude may be quite different to if they know me as a singer or that ‘young brown guy who lives  down the street’. In all these settings I haven’t changed, and yet I’m perceived differently.

Alas at days end we have no control over how others will perceive us. It occurs completely and discretely within their own central nervous system. It would seem that linear thinking requires less cognitive effort.  Far easier it is to believe that what is on the surface is true of the whole, than to allow for layered or multidimensional humanity. So for many of us the initial interface between two people involves a  kind of simple mental algebra, which allows us to disengage from uncertainty and mystery and neatly label another as good, bad, or ugly.

Far easier than influencing anothers perception is re-examining how we perceive ourselves. Stories are powerful and there are certain archetypes of behaviour and mythologies of being which facilitate human development. However the danger is that we get caught up in a single story line and limit our own unfolding.

So what is the story of ‘you’ that you tell yourself? Is it life enhancing or is it limiting? Is it time to tell yourself another story?

Or perhaps it is time to cut the ties of our stories all together, to dissect our souls from the hype which surround them and liberate ourselves into the fullness and richness of a life unencumbered by conformity.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oct 30 2011

    Hello Maithri,

    This post reminds me of a somewhat related story: A dog enters a house of mirrors, and sees a thousand other fierce dogs all looking at him. Off course that makes him angry and he begins to snarl and bark at them all. Guess what, all the dogs were snarling and barking at him too. He ran out of the house and they all chased him as he left.

    A great post. thanks for the reminder to rewrite the narratives that do not uplift us.

    Be free!

  2. Nov 2 2011

    How I yearn to be unencumbered and free to tell the total story. It’s not an easy journey the unfolding. The fear. Anxiety. This is a beautiful post my brother. It plucked at current feelings stirred up some courage. Thank you.

  3. Nov 7 2011

    hi M!
    it’s been a while!
    i think we need our stories, i dont believe it is possible to completely disconnect from them but i do believe that as we tell the story of our past we can bias it in a helpful way (or not.)
    and of course i believe that we can write the future whatever way we choose.

    best wishes


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