This week we are talking stories. The stories we tell ourselves without even realizing it that effect the way we see the world and color our interactions. Figuring out that we unconscious story tellers can be as big a revelation as the 17th century Italians who discovered that if you line a piece of glass with tin you could accurately see yourself as other see you.
Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran says that there is scientific authority behind the idea that the "self" is our ability to construct stories and that this ability developed in humans about 3k years ago. "Only humans can take images from the real world, pull them into their heads, divide them into parts, and then start turning those parts into abstractions."
Stories have an enormous power when it comes to how we process interactions. That guy who swerved in front of you at 90 miles per hour on 84, a jerk who thinks getting where he needs to go fast is more important than your safety; or an anxious parent rushing their child to the emergency room with a broken arm? The story you tell yourself invokes an emotional reaction of either anger and outrage or compassion and understanding.
We play a great game to illustrate the power of intentional story telling where we give a pair of kids the same story elements. For example, a dog barking, a doorbell ringing, a bear escaped from the zoo. One of the kids tells a negative, scary or sad story and the other takes the same building blocks and makes it a positive, happy or funny story.
As Kurt Vonnegut says, "Live by the stories that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy."
See you in group!