Some are fanciful and timeless. Others are deeply personal and private. Many stories just are: they are daily occurrences, experiences, and other matters that happen along the way.
You have had things happen to you that make for interesting stories, as well as things that are pretty mundane and uninteresting to anyone, possibly even you. But these stories are what make up our lives. Some even become a part of our collective consciousness.
Whether you believe it or not, you have a story to tell. Sharing it is entirely up to you…or not.
As Tyrion Lannister says at the end of Game of Thrones:
“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”
This may have come from a fictional character, but it is still true.
Who shares the stories?
There is a famous quote attributed to Winston Churchill that says,
“History is written by the victors.”
While this has been apparent across humankind’s recorded time, that doesn’t mean that we are ignorant of the stories of the losers.
For example, there are stories passed down among the indigenous peoples of the world that were overrun by explorers, colonists, invaders, and conquerors. They may not have won, but they still have had their stories told.
This can be applied to you and I. Whether we succeed or fail, you and I can still tell our stories.
Are all stories worth being shared? No, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect writing them down when the mood is upon you.
Some nonfiction stories of everyday people’s lives are, to a broader audience, dull. But that doesn’t actually lessen the story to be told. What is important to you matters, because YOU matter.
You are worthy of having your story told. Further, you deserve whatever story you desire to create for your life because you possess this ability to make your own way.
One of the downsides of good fiction is that it often sets us up for an unreasonable standard. Romances where impossible odds are overcome; hero’s journeys that are full of nearly insurmountable obstacles along the way; success when all the signs point to complete failure. Grand and glorious notions that we often forget are just fiction and meant to entertain and inspire.
You don’t need to fall in love instantly. Nor do you need to have that “Ah ha!” moment of inspiration to achieve something. A near-death experience is not a prerequisite of a massive life change. Yet such examples cause us to sometimes think if we do not have such a moment, we are unworthy.
Every story is unique
I have some pretty wild stories to tell.
For the a Few Words publication, I’ve shared the story of my slip off a cliff as a teenager, my arrest for driving on a non-existent suspended license, and when I helped blow-up a car for a student film.
I have other stories, like my solo drive across the southern half of the USA one February; some epic hikes in Sedona, Arizona; having multiple random strangers tell me their life story; jumping off a bridge into the Allagash River in Maine; and more.
Those are my interesting stories. I have all sorts of uninteresting stories to tell, of course. Whatever stories I choose to share, or not, these are the instances that have made my life into what it is.
Not all the stories I have to tell are good stories. I self-published a humorous retelling of my experience after getting hit by a car when crossing a street. But in that story, on more than one occasion, I point out when I was an asshole.
I did some pretty lousy things. I treated some people badly and caused a whole bunch of hurt. I own up to that because it is a part of who I am. This is still part of my story, even if it is part I’d rather not have. But that’s an aspect of the entire human experience.
You and I are flawed. I am perfectly imperfect, and so are you. The stories of my life are not the same as your stories. That’s because you come from a different background, experience, environment, education, mindset, perception, and overall BEING that differs from my own. You are as unique as I am, and no greater or lesser than me for the life you have lived.
You are worthy of a good story
When you tell the story of your life, do you want it to be full of experiences you had or things that you missed out on? Do you take chances and leave comfort zones to have a life that keeps you going and interested, or just go with the daily flow?
I know that this can be a real challenge. There are bills to be paid, appointments to be kept, people to take care of, and so on. You have responsibilities and expectations to meet. The question is, are these a part of the story of YOUR life, or the story of someone else’s life?
It is far too easy to believe that you are undeserving of having a story worth telling. You might come from a pretty average family of one stripe or another; perhaps you believe you have average intelligence and don’t do anything beyond just being; maybe you think you lack the wealth, the clout, the body positivity, or what-have-you to be the protagonist of a story to be told.
Let’s just toss this out right here, ok? You are worthy and deserving of having a story to tell. Your personal story, whatever form it has taken up to now, is a part of the world of stories, and matters. You matter.
Why? Because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here at all.
You are here
At your core you are energy. That energy has taken material form in this world, occupied your body and perceived everything via your mind. To be who you are, capable of all that you can do, you arrived here. That means that your story matters.
You became you because you have a value to add to this world. It’s entirely possible that you have no idea what that means, but I know it means your story is meant to be told. Even the dullest story out there is going to be of interest to someone.
I have no doubt some people find the fiction AND nonfiction I share to be trite, uninspired, and uninteresting. That’s a part of human nature, and I accept it for what it is. Some people consider Hemingway a brilliant writer while I find his work to be blah.
Perception is unique to every one of us. My idea of an exciting tale may well be your idea of a yawner. Thus, the story of your life is going to be of interest to someone and is worth telling, because everyone matters.
Don’t be afraid to do what you can to make your story interesting to YOU.
If the story of your life thus far doesn’t satisfy you, become more mindful, use that awareness of your thoughts and feelings to take necessary intentional actions to change your life. It is both that simple and that complicated, depending on what you have experienced thus far and how much effort you perceive change could take.
The world is made up of stories, and yours is worth being told. If that doesn’t excite you, what could you do to write a better story for your life?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter and you have a great story to tell.