Same Old Story (Revisited)
Funny how you write something, let it loose on the world and then realize you weren’t done with it. Hence, this post. I talked a lot about the old stories of our ‘glory days’ that we carry around and how Jesus wants to give us a new story, but there’s another kind of story that we hold onto that’s not so pretty or triumphant. I’m talking about the stories we make up.
People make up stories about us all the time and we in turn, tell what we think is the story of others. We decide for ourselves what their plotline is without ever finding out if its so. These stories usually are based on a negative world view and since we risk nothing by believing them – after all, we’ll most likely never see this person again – the story we tell ourselves about them is reinforced, eventually building a ‘script’ in our heads. The next time we see someone who looks or acts in the same way, we simply access the little file drawer we keep in our heads, find the appropriate ‘script,’ apply it and move on with our day, secure in the knowledge that we got it right.
Think about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman obviously thought he had the story of Trayvon’s life all figured out. I wonder how much that script changed as he sat in that courtroom day after day, seeing how much Trayvon’s family loved and missed their son.
Then there’s the story of Demi Lovato. On top of the world, touring with one of the biggest boy-bands in history, Demi secretly suffered from anorexia and other eating disorders. She walked away from her tour to get help. Many young celebrities don’t and continue to suffer in silence. After all, their young, beautiful, and famous. What could they possibly have to complain about?
I remember a beautiful young girl I went to high school with. She was popular, got good grades, was always dressed in the latest fashion and going to the places I could only dream about. Years After high school I ran into her by chance and we had a few moments to talk. What she told me about that time in her life was startling. Although she seemed to have everything together on the surface, under that beautiful layer was a very tortured life. Gina, as I’ll call her, was being molested by her father and her mother was in and out of rehab centers, fighting alcoholism. Maybe If I had known I could have been less in awe of her and more of a friend; at least, I’d like to think I would have been.
Aren’t there scripts that you’re pretty sure people believe about you that you’d like to change?
I’d like to challenge you to throw out a few bad scripts this week. Not only the ones you assign to others, but the ones you feel have been assigned to you.
What. You thought you were the only one who did that? Like I said a little earlier, People make up stories about US all the time too. So the next time you feel judged, boxed up, filed away. Step out of it, tell them your real story and prove them wrong. And give others the opportunity to tell theirs as well.
What you learn could be a paradigm shift in how you view the people around you and yourself. Think about it. Have you ever really told someone your story? If you did, did you believe what you said about yourself?
Come to think of it. Maybe there’s a series in this subject. Look for more later, I think.