How to Measure our Stories
The difficult thing is measuring our stories. We can’t help the process of choosing one, for better or worse. But how do we know if what we are doing, what we are telling, is right and true?
The pursuit of truth is muddied by our story-telling and our best intentions. Because once we chose a story, it works hard to reinforce itself. It is like giving birth to a wild animal. Once it is out of the cage, it is hard to quiet or reign in.
The only thing more powerful than our story-telling capabilities is the truth. And the bottom line is that we need a community to help us discern the truth. We find a lot of comfort in isolating ourselves with others who have, more or less, chosen the same narrative we have. This is tragic. We close ourselves off to the diverse perspectives of the world and it closes us off to discovering the truths of our own narratives, both their weaknesses and truest strengths.
Reliable, trustworthy community is a good way to measure the truth of our narratives. After all, the most effective way a character in a novel changes is by colliding with another character.
There are other ways to measure. The Bible, for one. An internal feeling of peace, for another. The challenge is that all of the tools can be abused, recalibrated by our subconscious to serve our stories rather than The Truth.
How to Change our Narratives
In previous blogs, we’ve talked about System One Thinking. Changing our perspectives is relatively simple. But that does not mean it is easy. We change our stories by discovering a new truth, something greater and more real than what we previously believed. By engaging in System Two.
It can be tempting to just pick a flowery new story. And that might work for a while. But, once again, truth is the real metric. We tell the stories we’ve chosen because we believe them. We are discontent with those stories because we do not believe them fully. Choosing new stories is about finding a clearer narrative.
Some of us are telling lousy stories. We’ve chosen terribly untrue stories about ourselves and others. And we repeat them over and over, day after day. We don’t believe there is more. But there is. We just need to keep turning the pages, guided by truth and discovery rather than fear and failure. We find what we are looking for. And we live the stories we tell.