The importance of our narrative: the story we tell ourselves
Introduction to our narrative
Our lives are a story we tell ourselves, a narrative we shape and reshape through our experiences and beliefs. This story is more than just an account of past events or a prediction of future possibilities. It is the framework that gives structure and meaning to our perception of ourselves and our environment.
Our narrative is an interpretation of the 3-dimensional world in which we live. A world that is neutral by law and based on the law of duality, according to which everything has two potentials: a positive and a negative. It is our free will and focus that gives us the ability to orient ourselves in this neutral environment, to decide what we focus on and how we think about what we focus on.
The Law of Action and Reaction in the Context of Narrative
Our understanding of our environment is determined by the law of action and reaction. When we perceive something, this triggers a thought, which in turn triggers a reaction – an emotion. This leads to another reaction, a feeling, and the cycle continues. The emotions and feelings we experience in response to our perceptions are therefore the direct result of our initial thoughts and beliefs. They are the product of our interpretation of neutral reality, a polarity that is either positive or negative.
One example is how we can respond to the weather. On a rainy day, a person may focus on the negative aspects and find the rain distracting and unpleasant. She can feel sluggish and down just because it’s raining. Another person may see the rain positively, perceive it as refreshing and life-giving, and thus feel joy and satisfaction. Both individuals experienced the same neutral reality – the rain – but their different interpretations resulted in completely different emotional and feeling responses.
The role of beliefs in our narrative.
Our thoughts and emotions, which are determined by the way we perceive and interpret our environment, shape our deeply held beliefs or convictions over time. Just as we learn a language, we learn to automate certain thoughts and reactions by thinking them over and over again. These automated thoughts then become beliefs that control how we perceive and respond to the world, often without us being aware of it.
A practical example of this is the way we see ourselves. If we keep telling ourselves that we are not good enough, that we always make mistakes, or that we are not lovable, then these thoughts become beliefs. These beliefs then influence how we see the world around us and ourselves, shaping our personal narrative.
Selective perception and our narrative
Our beliefs also influence our selective perception. Our brain cannot process all the information we receive from our environment. Therefore, it selectively chooses the information it deems relevant based on our beliefs. Of the approximately 15 million bits of information that we subconsciously perceive per second, our brain filters out more than 99%. Therefore, our conscious perceptions are strongly influenced by our beliefs.
For example, if a person has the belief that the world is a dangerous place, they are likely to notice and remember situations and events that confirm that belief. On the other hand, she might overlook or forget positive events because they are not consistent with her narrative.
Limitations through our narrative
Our narrative can limit and even sabotage us in many ways, especially when it is based on negative beliefs. It can blind us to the possibilities and potential that our neutral reality offers. It can cause us to repeat negative patterns and habits that keep us from making positive changes in our lives. And it can keep us stuck in a story that doesn’t match our true selves or our deepest desires and aspirations.
Therefore, it is critical to question our narrative and examine the beliefs it contains. Are they true? Are they helpful? Do they bring us closer to what we really want to be and do? Or are they holding us back?
Our narrative is not just a story we tell ourselves, but it is the prism through which we see and understand our world. It shapes our perceptions, our thinking and our feeling. And it can either liberate us or shackle us, depending on the beliefs that drive it. By consciously shaping our narrative and choosing positive and empowering beliefs, we can live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.