We love the narrative, don't we? The way a story draws us in and captivates our imaginations? It's what we do, we humans. We make meanings.
Where this is a beautiful way to weave our experiences together, to make sense of what we've witnessed, and to give familiar understanding, so that we can comprehend the perspectives of others, this can, also, be a powerful tool for narrowness of thinking, misdirect and irrational conclusions. We can get so caught up in the story that we forget, it's made up.
Now, I am never going to insinuate that a person's story isn't real. The lens we look through directly determines our experience. It becomes our reality. Yet, I will say, it can never be the whole truth. Perspective is everything, after all, and no two people, witnessing or experiencing the same event, will report it, identically. Why? Filters.
We all have them. Life experiences, interpreted through previous life experiences, influenced by nature, nurture and peers, and punctuated by personality, determine how we see life. Our stories are only fragments of truth. Like a colouring book, we fill in the colours according to what makes the most sense to us at the time, what fits.
So, how can we know what's real? We can't, actually. Have you ever listened to adult siblings argue over what happened when they were young? Each insisting that their take is the truth? They are, likely, both right and both wrong. If we loosen our grip on an insistence that our story is the truth, we can pull back from it and examine it's effect. What did we make the story mean? What we can know is how we feel about our story. Does it support us or is it stiflingly protective? Does it empower us or does it keep us small? If we shine different lights on it, what do we see? We can use our stories to explore our inner workings and in discerning our conclusions, we can come to understand what it is we really need and want from life, what urges us forward and what holds us back.