With only 9 more days until Christmas, a lot of busyness, expectations and assumptions are chasing after us. It is easy to get lost in taking care of the flood of details and to forget the true meaning of the holidays.
- ???--what is it for you?
It's been interesting to ask this question. For me, I look forward to connecting to friends and family, eating good food, drinking good wine and most importantly: telling and listening to good stories.
The holidays revolve around stories; every religion has their own for this time of year and we all live for and by our stories.
External stories are fun, exciting, interesting and give us an alternative reality to escape to. Stories have been used since the beginning of time to share information, call to arms, clarify, mollify, unite, stir up and inspire. Stories are now called leadership tools and have been reinvented to serve in the business world. Stories can be used to tell the truth as we know it, or we can pick apart our memories and rebuild them to something that has meaning and momentum. Stories can be used to hide behind, expose yourself, or a little bit of both.
Our internal stories have the same functions. We use them to propel ourselves with the positive beliefs about what we are good at and where we are unstoppable, and then there is the other box of the stories that we use to keep us well within our comfort zone, small and invisible, safe from disappointment, failure and success.
The really cool thing about stories is: you have the power to change them. You can tell the story any way you wish. You can be the victim, the villain or the hero. If there is a particular moral of a story that has been your nemesis, change it!
I dare you to pick out a story about yourself that has been getting in the way of living true to yourself. Take in the meaning it has for you now and then step out of your story and become the listener. What would make this a much better story? What's would be more powerful, vulnerable, engaging and interesting? What would be the inspiring ending that your are looking for right now?
Take that story with you during the holidays and tell it to those who are important to you. A good story must be personal and it must communicate change. Simple or profound, the change must be meaningful. What meaning is true to yourself now?