A Story for the Ages:
What stories did you grow up with? I grew up on tugboat stories for one. Daring decisions of river cowboys, close calls, and the hilarious antics that men living in a small space together for two weeks play on each other.
Every day we tell stories and with them we transport ourselves to another place. We rehearse what we think is possible and what isn’t. We form our sense of self, our identity, and our cultures. Cultures among friends, among families, neighborhoods, countries, and the culture of self.
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here,” says author, Sue Monk Kidd.
Stories can be an anchor in life’s storms, history made and worth repeating. They can be a ball and chain, what isn’t true about you, histories wisely learned from and not repeated.
I also heard stories of courageous emigration, war, enterprise, spontaneous adventures, poverty, music, pranks, sorrow, ingenuity, religion, farming, generosity, disease and healing, all of which influenced how I see the world, my wry sense of humor, and decisions I made about who I did or did not want to become.
On what stories have you hinged your sense of self? Do they strengthen your way forward? Keep you frozen in time? Do they reinforce what is true about you or what isn’t?
“There is nothing small about you.
The tiniest ray of your spirit can light up the sky.” ~ Cyndi Dale
We transport ourselves forward and backward and even frozen with stories, like tripping on the same lump in the carpet repeatedly until we stop to pull it tight. It’s easy to internalize stories, whether from the past or present moment, without being conscious of their meaning, how they shape our future, without choosing their value.
Great stories are made of heart, risk, and most importantly, something felt. The stories that stick with us are palpable. We recall them first with our senses and then with our brains.
We stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before by utilizing what we sense from their experience to cast our own futures, to choose what we take forward and what we transform; to ask different questions and dream new dreams. And we are the shoulders of stories that generations to come will stand on. What are you telling? What are you risking? What are you feeling?
“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think,
but to give you questions to think upon.” ~ Brandon Sanderson, Writer
You are not limited by either the smallest or the greatest of stories you hold dear. There’s more to you, still. Infinitely more. And the way you take in the stories, retell them, or reinterpret them, plays a role in how you relate to yourself as well as what you contribute to all your cultures.
Live a story for the ages, whatever that is for you—simple or majestic. Transport people to a new place, to what else is possible, to a history worth expanding upon.
Here’s to more of You in this world,