The Power of Stories

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I LIKE TO MAKE THINGS UP I’m pretty sure my parents would call it ‘lying’. I call it ‘embellishing the truth’. My partner calls it ‘making things up’. The first time he saw the depths of this of tendency was in 2008. He asked me if I had washed a spoon.

“Sure” I said. “Really?” he asked, eyebrow arched.

“Yup. Totally washed it”.

“So, you washed it, then put it back precisely where it was when it was dirty?”

I paused. “Erm, yes, that’s precisely what I did”.

“Really?” He said.

“Uh huh, really”, I muttered. Eyes down.

“Um, did you just lie about the spoon?” He asked, somewhat incredulous.

“Yes!” I broke down, finally ready to confess. “I lied, because I didn’t want to wash it, and I like to make things up.”

He looked at me for a beat and then...he burst out laughing. To him, it was so absurd that I would lie about such a small thing. To me, his response, his laughter, made me feel for the first time like I was 100% accepted by someone else. And as a result, I finally began to 100% accept myself. Warts, lies and all.

THE POWER OF STORIES I still make things up. All. The. Time. But usually I do it for more magnanimous purposes. To construct and tell great stories. Because I believe we make sense of the world through stories. We build identities and relationships around narratives. We learn about other people and other places. We develop empathy as we watch and relate to different characters. And we share our own thoughts, emotions and hearts with the world, one act at a time.