Separating Facts From Stories
There are the facts. And then there are the stories we weave from the facts.
Fact: My ex-husband had an affair with a woman he met on a business trip. He married her three months after they met and abandoned me with a text message.
Story: There must be something wrong with me for my husband to fall so quickly for another woman. She must have something that I don’t. I’m not even worthy of a conversation, that’s how inconsequential I am. If the man that professed his love to me for sixteen years and pledged his commitment could leave me so easily, any other man would obviously do the same. If I was unworthy before, I’m broken now. There’s no way that I will ever be able to recover from this damage.
It starts with the facts – sometimes harsh, but bare. Often devoid of any motivations or intentions. And then our brains industriously fill in the details, weaving stories that surround and connect the facts.
The problem is that once we tell ourselves these stories, we become unable to separate them from the facts. And so we begin to believe the words we tell ourselves. The words that are often anchored in insecurities, fears and trauma.
Sometimes, we even take it a step further and assimilate these stories as a core truth of about ourselves. We confuse what happened to us with who we are, applying labels with superglue and operating under those assumptions.
What stories are you telling yourself?
Take a few moments and consciously examine the stories you tell yourself. What are the facts and what are your interpretations and speculations about the facts? What if some of your conclusions are incorrect? Could there be another way to view these same facts?
The facts are irrefutable. The stories are what we create.
When we become too wed to a story, we become stuck within a singular narrative. Change your story and your life will follow.