I remember my grampa taking me to the coffee shop where he’d meet his friends and talk. He’d start by ordering the coffee, with cream. He would pour a tiny bit of cream out of the 1 oz glass creamer (how many of you remember those?) and replace it with a tiny bit of his coffee. I’d sip while they spun their tales, laughing and joking. I don’t remember what they talked about, but at the end of the laughter I remember they’d always add, “You can NEVER let the truth get in the way of a good story!” I did, at 4 years old, have an idea of what that meant. It was all done in fun.
And now, almost 60 years later, I peek in on my own self talk, and am surprised at how many of the tales I weave in my mind are based on just a little bit of drama. Not a lot, but enough that the stories in my mind stay interesting enough to gain a solid residence. And the more interesting I can skew them, the longer they are able to hang around, dig in deeper, and maintain their effect on my peace……or lack thereof.
I love the feeling when I realize what is actually going on inside my complex thought patterns. It’s like a puzzle solved, one little piece at a time. When I am willing to let go of the interesting zigs and zags of placing blame, or stir up a little anger to skim off the top and dig up some salty guilt from my childhood or yesterday to throw to the wind…..by life becomes lighter. I don’t notice the lack of interest as being boring. I notice a deeper sense of calm, peace, forgiveness for myself for expending so much energy without benefit. My new space easily attracts creative thought and participation in the joyful dance of life.
The seemingly addictive aspects of creating drama of the mind were actually only habitual for me. Transforming the perceived blame that I had woven into my story to a tapestry of gratitude for the teachers in my life and what I’ve been able to understand through experience has been key for me. In every situation, every interaction, there has been a gift. It doesn’t always make an interesting story, but the cost of losing the story is well worth the benefit of a life lived in harmony.
And when I catch myself in an old story that’s getting heavier and ‘more interesting’ every day……I ask, “How much is a good story worth?”