We’re all the stars of our own story, but that’s not the only role we play.
Every life is an unfolding story: dynamic, unique, purposeful and potentially heroic. But it’s also open to interpretation, especially our own. From the day we’re born, we become the spin doctor of our own work in progress, with the power to tell our story as a triumph, tragedy or something in between.
Our story has supporting characters who provide love and assistance, and antagonists who cause us to realize what we’re made of and what’s really important. Like stories, our lives are filled with suspense. The decisions we make, both big and small, affect our storyline — the relationships we choose, how we spend our days and how we nourish ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
In fact, creating one’s personal myth is a fundamental way in which we find meaning in life. This is not necessarily the stuff of narcissism or navel-gazing. Rather, the more intimate we become with our story, the more we realize that everyone has their own equally valid and important narrative, of which they, too, are the central character. And the more we identify with each other’s stories, the more we realize how connected we all are.
What if we could transform our character arcs into something worthy of the Hollywood treatment? That’s the goal of my new book, “Step Out of Your Story: Writing Exercises to Reframe and Transform Your Life."Thinking of yourself as a character in your life can help you get a novel perspective on situations, and even take your story in exciting new directions.
With a little imagination and positively directed self-inquiry, we can step out of our stories, check out the landscape, and determine whether to stay the course or reroute. From there, we can transform obstacles into opportunities to break bad habits and improve our character, becoming true heroes of our own living stories.