Last week I had dinner with a friend. We talked about people who trouble us, and those who brought joy and now are gone. Then she asked: “How’s _____ ?”
I paused and remembered a sweet, generous thing this person did for me. No one knew about it. Why? I had not told anyone this good story.
We all have a repertoire of stories we repeat. We tell them to others, and we repeat them to ourselves in a little tape that plays inside our heads:
- The time I found roaches crawling all over the walls of a nursing home.
- How my little sisters tore handfuls of cake from my prize-winning entry to the county fair.
- That awful time my car was stolen.
- How someone put my dog to sleep without telling me.
Out loud, or to ourselves, we tell the same stories over and over. Why don’t we tell more of the good stories? — Tweet this
We get more sympathy from tales of toil and trouble
People rally to disaster, and for that, I am grateful since I have had my share of disasters. Deep friendships and soul connections are often forged during adversity. It’s a beautiful thing. Yet if I get in the habit of trotting out my tried and true stories of tragedy as a way to connect with people, I get stuck in a rut of misery. I attract friends who are comfortable with the drama of suffering when I want to spend time with people who love the adventure of life.
We get more laughs from stories of disaster and crisis
This is me! I am guilty!
- Did I tell you about the time I lost both my engagement and wedding rings a week after the wedding?
- Were you aware the same day I informed my cancer-stricken father he was not safe to drive, I got in an accident driving him around town?
- Did you know my new puppy exhumed the carcass of the old dog from an illegal burial place in my posh subdivision?
You did? I told you those stories? Yes, I thought so. 😊
We face jealousy and resentment if we talk about success and blessing
This is serious, and sad. The Bible says we are to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. In my opinion, it is easier to find weepers than rejoicers. I recently started a master mind group of entrepreneurial, creative business women and one big lesson I’ve learned is the power of talking about successes and wins. It ramps up my energy to talk about what went well in my week. It’s exciting to know people celebrate and cheer my success.
Family stories dominate Kim Edward’s book The Lake of Dreams, which I feature in The Booktalklady’s next video. The protagonist Lucy Jarrett is troubled by unresolved questions about her father’s death. As she unravels several family mysteries she finds stories of love and beauty that heal her grief and allow her to move on with her life. We all need healing in one way or another, and I found this gentle, mystical story soothed my grief over my father’s death.
At the end of that dinner with my friend, I told her how someone helped me in a generous, heartfelt, and respectful way. I liked telling the story, and I want to repeat it, especially in the things I tell myself.
Do you have good stories? Promise to tell them. Be sure to listen when others tell theirs.
© 2016 Booktalk Lady LLC