The story in your head is a beautiful thing. It weaves together your life experiences and makes sense of them. It keeps you from having to run around raw, overwhelmed, and confused about whatever is happening. Your story tells you what to expect and what not to expect from yourself and from others, so you’re prepared and not overly disappointed. It stands up for you, justifying and defending your position. It shows you all the good reasons you have to trust or not trust yourself or someone else. The story remembers ways you’ve failed in the past, helping you avoid further mistakes.
It’s common to have more than one story in one’s head. One story might share the abundance of reason we have to act and feel as we do. A second might share all the reasons why we’re personally to blame for our failures or disappointments. Having more than one story in one’s head can be disorienting, but each story is trying to help us make sense of our life experience.
It’s incredibly lovely to have someone who can get our story, or all our stories. Someone who can walk alongside us with empathy, understanding, and validation. When we trust that someone is genuinely there with us, seeing what we see, understanding our thoughts and reactions, feeling the joy, anger, and pain with us, it changes us. It calms our story down—it no longer has to work so hard. Our anger can lie down, our pain becomes tolerable, and our joy so much greater.
Lucky people have such a companion in their partner or among their friends. For many, not being alone in our story takes finding a good therapist.
A good therapist will join you in your story, and will also do much more. They will earn your trust to the point that you feel safe to explore the experiences stored deeper in your body, beneath your head. They will guide you and keep you safe as you approach and embrace hidden stories and experiences. They will support you as you interact with the people in your life in new and more authentic ways. A good therapist will celebrate with you as you uncover more vulnerable, sensitive, and caring parts of yourself. A good therapist will guide you to new experiences of deeper parts of yourself. You will emerge from these experiences with new stories; stories that are deeply trusting and appreciative of yourself, and deeply grateful and compassionate toward others.
Who in your life has gotten your stories?