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The Spark of a Story

Stories are something that happens constantly, in everyday life. Someone says something. That sparks an idea, a memory, and then we wait patiently or impatiently to recall the anecdote to the rest of the group. Or perhaps we simply play the anecdote in our mind, alone for only us to hear, and remember. This memory may cause an array of feelings and emotions, which then, remind us of a past event, a past way of life, or a past version of ourselves.

And here is where the magic begins. If one were to operate under the law of attraction’s premise that, ” thoughts become things,” then perhaps it is equally considered to say, that  “stories become sparks and sparks become stories.” Now, herein lies the rub. If we all have an inner monologue playing in our mind at most hours of the day, what is that monologue saying? What are the sparks of the stories we tell ourselves? Are they stories of triumph and victory? Sometimes. Are they stories of hilarity and farce? Perhaps? Or are these stories of failure and defeat?

If something triggers a story in you of a past experience, how often is it a story wherein you see yourself as the conquering or compassionate hero? But more importantly, how do we learn to take our stories and turn them heroic? So often, we find our minds spiralling down the vortex of self-defeat. Whether it is a new job opportunity (” Well, I don’t actually have this much experience, so they probably wouldn’t even give me an interview..,”) or asking someone out, ( “Even though I find them attractive, they probably wouldn’t even give me the time of day…”). That thought, that single thought of self- defeat sets a precedent in our lives as being the status quo. And while #TimesUp, people still find it really hard to move past the status quo. It’s just like being a high school dance. Everyone is itching to bust a move, but nobody wants to be the first person to step out onto the floor.

And all it takes is one. One step, One story. For a very long time in my adult life, I told myself, I really wasn’t good enough. I was smart, but not smart enough. Immediately past experiences and stories would flood my mind of examples where I failed a class. I failed a drama class! Which is absurd, because all I did in High school was Theatre and Speech and Debate. The entirety of my time was spent creating characters and delivering public speeches or debating major world issues, and I failed a drama class? Obviously, this meant I was the scum of the earth, and so the narrative goes.  I was attractive, but not attractive enough. I had dates with handsome and beautiful individuals, and they asked me, me to accompany them to their company parties, and Saturday night soirees… ( This all sounds very untoward, I am just talking about dates here people, I was not an escort by any means). Although if I met someone I really like, there was no way I would ask them out, they were way above me. They had so many more options than the scum of the earth me, and so the narrative goes.  Whatever my heart seemed to desire, my brain said, ” You are not enough.” And so… the narrative goes.

But does it have to? Do we have to be caught in the web of these ‘preconceived notions’ of ‘not enough’?

I say Nay!

Stories are the lifeline of why I breathe. ( Perhaps how many of us breathe… with  a fine helping of that sweet, sweet oxygen). So, why don’t we spend more time curating the stories we tell ourselves? Stories of how we saved someone? Stories of how we became a hero in our own lives? Stories of love and compassion? Think back to when we were all kids… and the world was at our fingertips. Maybe one day we woke up a solider and the next a mermaid? There was something in those days of youth, where we knew, we KNEW just how awesome we were!

While this robust optimism might sound like a good idea… How does it become a reality? How do we go from the ho-hum drum of day to day to finding that awesomeness in all of us? It starts with a spark. The next time you feel you aren’t enough, let’s try something else, shall we?

STEP 1: Find someplace private. A place where you won’t feel judged or uncomfortable (yes even the toilet).

STEP 2: Listen to the first line of the story that is being told. ” I am not good enough for X because of Y”.

Step 3: Change it. Change the title line of the story. ” I would be AMAZING at X, because I am Y, I have Z. I know what it takes to be great at X.”

Step 4: Repeat it. Say it to yourself over and over in your mind. Do this until the small thread of the first negative tragic story you were once writing becomes a story of triumph!

Step 5: Remember. Remember that you are ENOUGH. You are MORE than Enough! You are EVERYTHING! You have everything it takes to achieve, to dream, to conquer.

I know this might sound a little crazy at first. And you may even feel foolish. Trust me, after entering the toilet every two minutes to pump myself up, I felt a fool, as well. Until I didn’t. Until my mind changed. Until I had a better relationship with myself. I don’t say this from a place of, ” I am awesome, and you should listen.” I say this from a place of self- hatred. It took a very long for me to CHOOSE me. To believe that I was someone of worthwhile. At first, I thought this was selfish and egotistical. But as I allowed myself to enjoy myself and this journey of sparking a new story I tell myself, I have found I can give more to people. I can listen more intently. I can help more freely. But most importantly, I can love openly.

All it takes is a spark. 

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