Do Traditional Stories That Rule Your Life Allow You To Be True To Yourself?
Do the traditional stories that rule your life allow you to be true to yourself? For many of us, the stories we tell ourselves are not authentic stories, because they do not emerge from knowledge of our authentic selves.
Instead, they are traditional stories, based on family stories, passed through the generations. They are stories based on conventional wisdom within our cultural, national, and ethnic groups. They are stories based on religious beliefs.
We inherit these traditional stories as they are passed down through families, cultures, nations, and religions. One of the strongest themes of these inherited stories is obedience to authority.
Your Authentic Life Hobbled By Stories That Don’t Fit
The effect is that these inherited stories are like well-worn hand-me-down shoes that are too small and hurt our feet. But we wear them anyway, and hobble through life, wearing someone else’s old shoes, living out of inherited traditional stories that do not allow us to live authentic lives.
What is the effect of living your life ruled by stories that don’t fit you? You can set as many goals as you want, make as many plans as you want, try as hard as you can, but if you don’t pay attention to the stories that rule your life, you are fighting a losing battle. The stories will rule you until you decide to rule your stories. You cannot be true to your self if you must obey old stories that hobble you with old belief systems.
Stuck In A Rut
What is the result of these efforts to wear inherited stories that don’t fit your authentic self? One of my friends has told me several times that her gravestone will read:
“She never got it put together.”
With these words, my friend expresses in words the high cost of using inherited stories to define the “Why?” of her life. She also—unwittingly—demonstrates how her own self-told stories diminish her, demean her, and rob her of the power to live the authentic life she truly desires to live.
Dr. Kalinda Rose Stevenson
The Story Transformer
Creator of “The Story Transformation Process”
This is the third post in a 5-Part series.