The story I’m making up is…

Recently, I’ve had multiple conversations about how stories and assumptions play out in our lives–those false narratives that we create in our minds that can spin out of control. After seeing the positive response to “How to Become a Story Buster”, I wanted to dig deeper into the subject.

You’re not alone if you feel like you live in the land of stories and assumptions. It’s part of the human experience.

The key to making it stop is awareness. You can’t change something you’re not aware you are doing. A good place to create more awareness in your life is to slow down and ask yourself if what you’re thinking is based on fact and truth. Did your friend turn down your party invitation because she doesn’t like you or because she has other plans?

Think of yourself becoming a truth detective (hat and magnifying glass optional).

If you’re being truthful with yourself, most likely you’re constantly making up stories about yourself and others. I know I am!

Maybe she is angry with me. Maybe he’s lazy. Maybe they think I’m too old or overbearing or…or…or. You know what I mean?

I’ll share how it recently played out in my life, so you can see it in action.

My husband and I had a chance to get away to Key West to celebrate my latest birthday. After the emotional stress of the past year, it felt good to step away from the neverending responsibilities that come with adulthood.

It was just the two of us ready to eat delicious food (Did someone say Key Lime Pie?), explore the island, and get some much needed rest.

What started out as a fun experience began to shift for me when I began to create a story about our relationship. Being totally transparent, we are like many other couples who’ve been married almost 30 years who are trying to discover the best way to stay connected with one another. It’s not an easy process, but I know there’s another life lesson to come out of it.

Once the kids have grown and flown, marriage takes on a whole different feel…especially if you’ve made the kids the focus of your lives.

I’m not exactly sure how it played out, but I do know that it took lots of journaling and going for a long walk by myself to open me up to being vulnerable by sharing the story I was telling myself with my husband.

Funny thing is I don’t even remember what I was thinking at the time, but I know I caught my husband off-guard when I said “The story I’m making up is….”

I let him know what was going on in my mind (the story that was created) and helped to explain why my sparkle had lost some of its luster.

What followed was some long, overdue, honest conversation. It wasn’t easy conversation, but it allowed both of us to express what was on our minds.

I believe the sentence starter from Brene Brown “The story I’m making up is…” is absolutely brilliant and can be a game changer in many relationships. I know it has in mine.

Go ahead and give it a try, and see what opens up for you. If it feels comfortable to you (or you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone), let me know in the comments below how this played out for you.

You never know, what you share may be what someone else needs to hear.

Could you use support around the stories you tell yourself (and how to move past them)? If so, go ahead and send a note to hello@anneeppley.com.

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