He doesn't show up on time and your story-telling mind goes into overdrive with assumptions!
It’s just amazing at how good we are at the stories we tell ourselves. Making up stories happens so fast that we don’t even realize what champions we have become at story-telling! And then those stories dictate our thoughts, our perceptions and ultimately our lives.
We have a story or opinion on everything, it seems.
- About politics and people's points of view
- About religion
- About sex and morals
- About celebrities an their lifestyle
- About our friends and neighbors
- About ourselves, our spouses, our family.
You name it and you’ve probably got a story, and a damn good one, too!
But here’s the deal. There’s FACT and FICTION, as we like to say.
When Nick didn’t show up for an appointment, the FACT is he didn’t show up.
End of story. Or is it?
The story you make up about it is FICTION.
- He’s an inconsiderate disorganized slob!
- He doesn’t respect me enough to show up.
- He’s rude and irresponsible. He should have called to tell me he couldn’t make it.
Before you go off on these tangents that lead to conflict and misunderstanding, ask yourself what might have happened.
Maybe he lost his cell phone, or couldn’t charge it. Maybe he doesn’t even have a cell phone. Maybe he had a family emergency and it completely slipped his mind to get back to you. Maybe he witnessed an accident and stopped to help. Who knows?
Before you start judging others and yourself, reframe the situation by asking yourself, “Is there another way to look at this?”
If you still find yourself turning your assumptions into stories, then you might want to seriously ponder why you need to tell yourself stories. Are you being too judgmental, feeling unloved or have a need to justify, explain and be right? Most of the violence in the world, on every scale from small to big, stems from stories that someone made up about a person, themselves or an event without having all the facts. It doesn't have to be that way when we look at the world with an open heart.
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