We are the stories we tell ourselves

 It has been a bloody week. First a bomb blast in Lebanon, then attacks in Paris followed by another bomb blast in Nigeria. The week closed with the invasion of a hotel in Mali and the further cold-blooded killing of 21 people. All in the name of what we tell ourselves is literally holy. Is the story that we are telling ourselves about our faiths going to continue to rip our world apart? Do the stories we tell our children about this life and the next continue to destroy so many lives in the here and now?

 

I believe in the power of words to build up and destroy. So it will come as no surprise when I say that I absolutely buy into the concept that we shape our lives through the stories we tell ourselves. And maybe, just maybe this has never been more important than it is right now. Maybe the stories we tell our children about themselves and their place in the world has never been more vital.

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So how do we shape those stories for our children? How do we give our children that sense that they may not be able to shape their circumstances, but they can shape their reaction to them. The sense that perhaps they can prosper - even when days are dark - by shaping the story of their lives.

 

I have found some of Brené Brown’s stories in her new book “Rising Strong” immensely helpful in how I think firstly about my own stories. From there I can think through what it means for my children. My children certainly are very aware of my response to the world around us so a “Do as I say and not as I do” message simply will not work.

 

I (unfortunately) am still a work in progress. Nonetheless, the stakes are higher than ever because this is no longer just about me. I simply have to control my own narrative (even if my circumstances are beyond my control) if I want to show them how to seize their own moments and days.

 

So Ms Brown’s description of her personal situations in which she uses the phrase “the story I am telling myself about” a certain situation has been very useful in helping me separate the narrative of a reality from the narrative of my interpretation of an issue or event. For more, look at her website or read this particular blog (http://brenebrown.com/2015/07/27/the-most-dangerous-stories-we-make-up/). (In a nutshell she describes how we often diminish ourselves in three key areas – Lovability, Divinity and Creativity and Ability. I won’t rehash her full blog here (so please read it yourself), but her comments about Creativity and Ability really struck a chord.)

 

More than anything I want to give my children the gift of resilience. The old adage “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me” is untrue at best. Words are powerful – they win wars and elections, they sway public opinion. We live in a world where there are more words and more stories published every day through a multitude of platforms. Words do matter, stories matter. So let’s give our children their own stories.

 

At Zoowun, we have taken this last thought quite literally. We hope our children’s stories are fun and entertaining and provide you and your child with many hours of pleasure. But we also have a secret wish that they will help your child begin to see themselves as the hero in their own lives just as they are the hero in their own Zoowun story.

 

  • Please tell us what you think. Do the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves matter?
  • Please share on your preferred social network by clicking the relevant icon.
  • Please look at our website www.zoowun.com to see if there are stories there your child would like to hear about themselves.

 

 

 


 

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