There is nothing worse than hearing the same old story over and over again, and yet most of us have no trouble repeating our story. For some reason, we think our tale of woe is different and proceed to share the intimate details with all who will listen. We are oblivious to the blank stares and veiled yawns, and talk long after all interest has waned.
Friends and family mistakenly think they are providing a valuable service when they sit hour after hour feigning interest in what we have to say. They think this is what they are supposed to do, even though they have long since tired of hearing the same litany. They give us similar suggestions over and over again and in the process commiserate with our plight. The pattern is set for talks that go nowhere into the night.
So we keep on talking because no one tells us to be quiet.
One day, telling our story, we actually hear the words. What once had drama and seriousness now sounds narcissistic and funny. A crucial shift has taken place—we have gone from being victims to assuming responsibility for whatever happens in our lives. This change has allowed us to truly hear our words for the first time.
Listening, we hear repetitive themes and familiar complaints. Initially we thought it was okay because the names, places, and faces were different. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know the truth—it is really the same old story. Nothing has changed.
Finally, we are bored.
So bored, we don’t even bother to create a new story. We realize that they are all basically the same—none any better or worse than the other—just mine is mine and yours is yours.
The simplicity of our realization is astounding. Not realizing that we were carrying around tons of garbage, we suddenly feel lighter. We take a moment to remember all the friends who sat through countless hours listening to this stuff, and we smile. Would we do it for someone else? I don’t think so.
Having let go of the drama, we embrace the adventure.
(From Reality Works, Let It Happen)