“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou
We all have them. We all love them. We all have heard them. We all seek more out whether we realize it or not.
Stories further validate, help us to gain more knowledge, entertain us, sedate us with others emotions or feed our hungry brains.
There are LOTS of reasons for stories being so important to the human experience.
They are all valid. All real. All very human.
So when hearing multiple versions of a story…
Who do we believe?
What do we believe?
Who is telling the truth?
I don’t pretend to have the answers. But this is fascinating to me.
Because I see us all playing the role of Sherlock Holmes in every social dynamic we are a part of. We are constantly judging and weighing out information and evidences.
Anthropologically speaking, we are tribal in our nature, and want to belong to a group.
*Usually in order to be a part of that group we must have a comfortable percentage of shared views on reality.*
Get too out of sync or in dissonance with “the group”, and it breaks up, or naturally drifts apart.
I wrote a poem last year about this concept.
I titled it:
The irony. Considering we are all speaking from versions of our best figured out “reality” at any given time. We speak and tell our stories and truths as we see them.
Have you heard of the “U curve study?”
In essence it states we are happiest when we are born, then we get decreasingly unhappy, and somewhere at that lowest point of the “U” we begin to rise up and get happier again.
The claim proven across social sciences, across many countries is: towards the end of our lives, we are reportedly about as happy as we were when we started out as wide eyed little things.
Part of me thinks the “U curve” starts going upwards again (in this middle age of life) because these people no longer can hold or match up with everyones “realities.”
I think they begin to realize there are TOO many weights of care/responsibility/images to uphold/etc.
They realize they cannot be the person they “wanted to be seen as” in everyones eyes/minds/hearts/paradigms and stories…
Which then leads them to stop trying so hard to “unify in a UNIFORM way” as the same shaped/colored organism. Rather, they begin to accept that humans are NOT THE SAME, AND THAT IS OK AND GOOD.
Those on the upturn of the “U curve” seem to start to flying around each other *not tied at the ankle to eachother, like some campground game of a three legged race*
These people on the “upturn” begin respecting the space and individual race/flight of each person.
They start to see the sky for the vast space it is.
They see the various living branches and nests for what they are.
*Not theirs to manage or control.*
The comparison of flight or landing and competition or need to fly in uniform patterns stops mattering as much as they begin to choose more liberating ways of flying and simpler ways of interacting.
They begin to live more by ridiculously elementary mantras like: “be kind” to others.
Experience teaches them what hurts and they are smarter and avoid doing/saying/being near those things.
They focus on enjoying their own flight, landing places, and their song more.
They seem to begin to live LESS attached physically and emotionally to what others think or want of them. This allows them to fly faster and more efficiently ironically.
The end result of this simple and radical shift?
They are genuinely happier.
Can we expedite this learning U curve? Does it take time to really experience other peoples realities and versions before our capacity fails with trying to hold them all… and finally lets go to the weight?
Do we have to sink to the bottom of the U to start swinging back upwards again to a more fulfilled, satisfying and happy life?
Do we have to go through the consequences of so much weight, deceit, and pain before we realize what our freedom, truth and desires are?
That’s where I am currently. I’m at the beginning phases of actually “NOT GIVING A…” upturn of my U…. MOSTLY, because I can no longer hold it all.
Something “broke” inside me over these last few years…and I think that it might be a good thing.
The more I learn, the more I realize that “Brains are freaking WILD!”
Imagine it as a cauldron that holds, stirs, and mixes. An electric grid of surges and lightening shot between frayed wires. A supercharged ENGINE that doesn’t turn off!
(And other metaphors)
It’s just so wild.
(No wonder they glitch, boil and bubble, overflow, spark, get overheated, need to have a “sleep mode” etc!)
Since it is something that is always running, here is a tip I use that helps my more neurotic brain perseverate what I want it to perseverate over. Because perseverate… it will. (With or without my permission)
I’m telling you this because science has proven that most brains want to be eating all the time. HENCE ANOTHER REASON WHY WE ARE CONSTANTLY CONSUMING AND TELLING STORIES. (Check out Huberman labs as just one resource)
Experience has taught me if I feed my brain good critical thinking questions, as I listen to, or reflect on stories I’ve been told… I can influence it to process more of what I am wanting it to process.
Again, It will be doing this with or without my permission! That is one of the brains MAIN FUNCTIONS.
So, feed it what I want it to break down and analyze, and I get the most out of that beastly “GO PEDAL” that is my pre frontal cortex!
When hearing someone’s story, version, opinion, argument, claim, etc… ask yourself questions like “these” and see what happens 🙂
QUESTIONS TO FEED YOUR BRAIN WHEN YOU HEAR SOMEONES STORY OR VERSION OF REALITY:
What did that story do to my mind?
What thoughts did it evoke?
Did it teach me something new?
Or further entrench my previously held beliefs?
Did they speak with/from Curiosity? Love? Fear? Anger? Joy?
What did that story do to my heart?
How am I “feeling” now?
Am I inspired or disheartened?
Am I feeling lifted or weighted?
What did that story do to my body?
Were my muscles tight or tense while reading/listening/consuming it?
Did my stomach drop?
Do I feel warmer or colder?
Did I feel rushes of stimuli?
What stimuli did I feel while experiencing that person? Or their story?
Do want more/less of that in my life?
I believe checking in with yourself in these ways is a BIG part to “getting to know you”
I believe you will make more sense to you the longer you look back and reflect critically after going confidently in the direction of your choices.
I believe in learning more about your “species of human” what makes you the same, different, unique, common…etc.
I believe people are happiest when they accept their own flight patterns, nest needs..etc.
I believe the happier and more fulfilled we are, the more light we bring to others.
I believe in following what feels “warm.”
One of my favorite comedians Gilda Radner said it so well:
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next…
I will still listen to your stories with open ears and an open mind. I will let those stories that feel like white magic (as Don Miguel Ruiz explains it in “the four agreements”) settle and live inside of me. If they stay with me, they will continue to stir up new concoctions of thought and reality shifts as other white magic is added.
I will continue to expel quickly those things that feel like black magic and I will examine and assess the damage they have done to me and those connected to me. This is a part of how I learn. Healing the wounds of taking on falsities. The scars are often how I remember the lesson.
I hope you can be so connected to yourself that other peoples incomplete and false versions of you will only be mirrors into their realities, not indicators of absolute truth.
I hope you can use some of the principles of the “U CURVE STUDY” on happiness and expedite some regret of not flying your TRUEST flight pattern and nest life that matches the most YOU(ee)-you.
I hope you keep becoming the you”iest” you, and that you can feel ok that whoever flies close to you, or lands near you will be the people you are meant to be grouping with at that time.
I hope you can step into yourself (all the varieties, and layers, and components)… so you can walk in SO MUCH TRUTH… while you keep questing for more!
I’m working on this myself. I’m barely passing some days.
Other days I get an A+ on the venture of complete congruence to my truest self.
Those are REALLY good days.
I want more of them.
I want the U to keep curving upwards NO MATTER what circumstances the “U” is in.
I’ll let U know how it goes. 😉
I’ll share my stories. I hope you do the same.
“Little by little. Day by day. One step at a time.”
Thank you for reading sweet thing,