I admit it: I’ve been doing some binge-watching lately.
The thing is - I love to get caught up in a story. Sink into it. Get lost in it.
I believe all stories - real and imagined - are important. Stories connect us with our heritage, our families, our past. They show us new viewpoints or different ways of living. They help us to connect with each other. They elicit emotions. Some stories bring us comfort. Or make us laugh. Some make us angry. Stories are part of being human.
Have you ever noticed how tightly we hold onto some stories while ignoring or moving on easily from others? I think it’s not only the story, but what the story can show us about ourselves, that really matters.
Think of your a favorite show or book. Why do you connect with it? What makes it meaningful to you?
Now let’s look with a wider lens. What’s a favorite story from your family or personal life? What is it that resonates with you?
Now wider still. What about stories you hear from elsewhere - from a friend or someone you admire or are interested in?
Wider. What about the stories that come from someone or somewhere that’s not familiar to you? What about stories in your larger cultural sphere? From the news or other sources?
Which stories do you want to sink into and spend more time with? Which do not seem to have any meaning for you? Which do you turn away from, maybe even before you get “the whole story”?
Stories are a human experience. Through stories, we can recognize and affirm our humanity. They can connect us directly with ourselves and with each other.
One way I practice mindfulness is to explore what’s inside stories. The ones that speak to me and the ones I don’t like or that make me uncomfortable. I practice inquiring to learn what a story reveals to and about me in this moment: What is here that connects me more with myself or someone else? This inquiry practice can help me see more clearly what’s really resonating with my experience and that enables me to take one more step toward knowing my True Self. So what the story tells me, shows me, teaches me, is even more powerful than the story itself.
Now that’s a good story!