There is a great Irish saying ‘Bíonn dhá insint ar scéal agus dhá leagan déag ar amhrán – There are two versions to a story and twelve arrangements to a song’.
As humans, we are the stories we tell ourselves – there is no getting away from it. It is hard wired into our brain processes. It is how we learn and how we communicate. Language and storytelling is how we of all the species of human hominids that evolved on this planet, have survived while others became extinct. But even that is not the full story – we were and are ingenious and creative too – we harnessed technology – not just fire and wheel but the shoe that enabled further travel and the plough-share that allowed us settle when we got to more habitable zones.
This proverb reminds us that nothing is so simple and there are complexities at play most of the time. Sometimes to avoid difficulties we tell ourselves a different story, hide from the truth – that’s not so good but to overcome – well that too is also sometimes about changing the narrative – especially if the story is doom and gloom, pain and fear.
If we can tell ourselves new stories then we can change how we read the room and react to the situations. We can learn to be more confident and competent; we can learn to overcome our past. We can transform ourselves. The song can be rearranged and sweetly sung. So if you are up for rewriting a happy ending, it is not denying the start, it’s not trying to forget the middle, it is about manifesting the next chapter as a powerful next chapter.
On the two sides – It is also in part about looking at the reality of the story. Sometimes all is not what it seems. In finding understanding, we find connection, compassion and healing. It is often that behind the scenes, the bully is being bullied elsewhere – so the person who may have triggered anxiety or feelings of worthlessness, sorrow or anger in you this week may be going through their own pain.
Ok, that does not mean that they haven’t just been an asshole, you can extend forgiveness and loving kindness if you chose but you can also just not carry their bad energy into your story. Knowing that it may be all them and not you at all is liberating. The other version is that you were simply wrong time wrong place and not someone doing wrong or deserving of contempt or a derailing of your day.
Everyday starts afresh, there may not always be as clean a slate as you would wish for but there is the potential to commence a new chapter, to hear a different tune.