Do you ever wonder, “Why are people the way they are?”
Why some people you know are mostly oozing confidence whereas some of those around you are skeptical self-doubters? Why there are some extreme optimists and few exactly opposites – the pathetic pessimists? What makes some perpetually happy people happy and the eternally sad people so?
If you never deliberated that before, are you wondering now?
And I am sure sometimes you also reflect, “Why am I the way I am?”
Let me help you know the answers to your pondering.
There were a lot of things responsible in the beginning of your life that shaped your persona. Your inherent personality, your circumstances, environment, life’s results, your disappointments, victories and a lot more. But after a while there is something else that started influencing your state of mind the most.
And that one thing is your story.
Now you are thinking which is that story I am talking about. Am I talking about the story of your life?
What is this story of life?
Every life on this planet is a story worth telling. Some are romantic, some tragic, few stories are inspiring, few loathsome and some are action packed adventures. Some are a good mix of all genres and may be material for a blockbuster hit if turned into a biopic celluloid.
Likewise, since the day you were born, you have been living an original story which is your story with you as the protagonist. Till now, the story has had many plots and subplots, twists and thrills, characters coming, staying or leaving, happy scenes and heartbreaking moments and the story keeps unfolding and will keep growing until the day of its climax.
Think of it, you may have already lived a story worth being a bestseller or a blockbuster. But I am not talking about that long story written by the Almighty and spanned over long years.
I am here talking about the short story you have scripted in your mind by picking up selected snippets from the long one as per your prejudices and predisposition.
Human brain has the tendency to concoct a short summary of the big tale and take it as the sum-total of the whole life’s story and then accept it as the complete life experience and thereafter live, feel, decide, act, not act, as the reaction to or outcome of that experience.
From a life full of good days, bad days, happy moments, sad moments, successes, failures, great relationships, bitter relationships, sweet memories, bitter experiences, love found, love lost, life altering lessons and miracles, people select a few moments and believe that short, edited trailer to be the whole movie.
This short summary is mostly not a mixed one as the life story is. It is predominantly one genre; it is either story of suffering and misery, success and achievement, love and happiness or betrayals and heartbreaks. So it is either a happy story or a sad story.
Think of it, you too have a short story that describes your whole spent life in mere 15-20 sentences. A whole long life on a page or two and there is a predominant emotion that you feel every time you narrate a part of it to yourself or someone else and that is how you mostly are.
If your story is mostly happy and successful, then you are a happy, confident person. If it is full of disappointments and unfulfilled wishes, then you are not a very happy and hopeful person.
They say, “You become the story that you tell yourself.” Think about it, your story makes your state of mind. You are joyful, self-assured, gloomy, depressed, hopeful or hopeless, whatever you are you are because you associate the whole meaning of your life to a few selected life’s events in your memory.
Whatever number of years you have already lived couldn’t all be just good or completely bad, there would have been all kinds of days, but your mind has focused on memories of one kind and that’s how your whole experience is shaped and you have become whatever you are.
This is how everyone became what they are.
Narcissists have a story all bright and beautiful. Everything good happened to them or they turned whatever they touched into gold. Everyone loved them. Everyone followed them. They beat all obstacles to reach the top.
Victims have a story too sad to make them cry every time they talk about it. They were hurt, betrayed or abandoned. They suffered losses. They cared for everyone but were never reciprocated. Life was never fair to them and they never got what they wanted. Poor fellows.
Confident and cheerful ones had great parents, good friendships, humble beginnings and great results. They were blessed and had good plans, excellent habits and were persistent to follow through. Such stories start with “A small town girl/boy who………….”
Negative people had all the bad experiences. Nothing ever worked in their favor. Their hard work never paid off. The whole universe conspired against them.
Every kind of people have their own kind of story. Sometimes people have more than one story. Even contradictory ones. The good one to tell when they have to boast about themselves or maybe just inspire a subordinate.
The sad one to gain attention from a dear one or to simply sulk and feel victimized as it is the easiest to blame and feel free from the onus of doing the right things. Happy stories for happy days and sad stories for the sad days.
Stories are also person specific. A happy story with someone we love and value and that story will be minus any ill doings of that person. And an unhappy one with the one we hate and despise and there you may forget all goodnesses. So stories are biased too.
Some people distort the realities and make a story that suits them. Distortion for positivity and if not entirely misleading for the taker of the story is somewhat fine but distortions to feed the narcissist or psychopath inside you is very dangerous. Many mental disorders like obsession, narcissism, maniac, depression, etc. are the outcome of distorted stories.
And then there are those people who do not have any story of their own. They are the story others tell them about them and life. They are at the mercy of other’s intelligence, interpretations, opinions and judgements. They are the biggest sufferers because their state of mind changes as and when their storyteller changes.
I hope you are not one of those without their own story. If you are, then stop listening to others and recall your whole life and start writing one. And a positive one. Immediately.
If not, then now you know what kind of story I was talking about that has made you what you are. Now you know that you too have a story or even multiple stories, maybe even a distorted one and they have been serving different purposes.
Take out a little time and listen to the stories you have been narrating about yourself to self and others and see how much they have changed over time. If what you hear has been the same, old, stale, sorry story since many many years then something is not very right in your life. It means you haven’t really grown much in the last few years.
Your story needs to grow as you grow.
Don’t you think it’s time now that you edited or rewrote those stories. Your life has been much more than these little pieces you picked up because of your circumstantial state of mind that was at the time you picked up those pieces and joined together to form the narrative of your beautiful and maybe forgotten tale.
Another reason you made that story was because of the way you interpreted the happenings of your life. They say everything happens for good but maybe you never saw the good at that time. It’s time now when you have understood how your story has affected your emotional state and all else and you have matured enough that you can reinterpret it, in a different light.
It’s time you sit down, go down the memory lane, do a refresh, reflect, reinterpret and then rewrite your story. A good, happy, humble story with a happy ending which is your life till now. Rewrite it and you will witness a change in yourself, your relationships, your work, your health and wherever you wish to see a change.
Rewrite it because you are the protagonist of a blockbuster which may catch the fancy of a biopic maker. Rewrite it because you are not a pity victim of someone else’s saga. Rewrite it because you have this chance to revisit and recollect those happy memories and life’s lessons that have the power to alter your being.
I have seen it happening. I change my story every few years as with age and experience I could find more meaning to the events of my life. From a victim I thought I was I have witnessed myself transform into the most blessed person I know now. I am grateful to God for letting me see His hand in all that I call my life’s happenings and rewrite a story of faith, hope, resilience, strength, love and abundance and that’s all I feel now.
You too try doing it and in case you need help call for help from a professional ‘Life Story Editor’ like myself who can be your guide and show you all the beautiful visuals from your past you had omitted while writing the story you have been telling yourself till now.
Happy rewriting your story!!!