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How Can the Stories We Remember Change Us

How Can the Stories We Remember Change Us

Have you ever considered how the stories you tell yourself about your past experiences shape who you are today? In a chapter of his book “The Artisan Soul”, Erwin Raphael McManus explores the powerful difference between our experienced self and our remembered self.

The truth is, our lives are not defined by the actual events we’ve lived through, but by the narratives we construct around them. It’s the story we tell ourselves, the meaning we assign to the experiences, that ultimately forms our sense of identity. Chewing on this idea gives me pause. As I reflect, I can’t help but wonder – what self-limiting tales have I been unconsciously telling myself? How have the narratives rattling around in my head sculpted my perceived capabilities and potential?

In chewing on this concept, I imagine rewriting those poorly constructed narratives from my past. Taking an eraser to the self-doubting stories, and re-penning empowering tales of resilience, possibility and hard-won wisdom. It wouldn’t alter the factual events, but it could radically transform my remembered self – the core essence of who I believe myself to be. And in redefining my remembered identity, my whole approach to life could shift as well.

As creatives, we deal in narrative crafting daily. Breathing life into new tales through our art and work. So if anyone has the authority to re-author their own life stories, it’s us. So let me give you permission: you are empowered to pick up that pen and rewrite your remembered self, remembering the powerlessness differently, the tragedy differently, the pain and impact of loss differently. You can’t change the past but you can be a part of changing how the past changes you. An ever-emerging work of art, continually revised and refined.
Happy re-writing your story.

Did you enjoy the episode? Check out yesterday’s post.