Much of what we think and say is “made up”. The stories we make up aren’t about lying. Lying has a different intention. The stories we make up are about how we have filled in the blanks.
The difficulty is we present these details as fact. They aren’t. They are truly “what we make up”.
It can seem reasonable because we are very familiar with a specific historical pattern. So, we make the assumption and fill in the blank. We may be correct in our assumption, but we may not.
In our anxiety and with our trauma histories, our internal systems have an agenda: to tell the story we personally need to believe or we need others to believe….. in order to feel safe, included, and accepted.
”What I make up” isn’t to shame, but simply to take responsibility for and be honest about where we don’t have all the data.
In fact, it is a very freeing phrase. It allows us to acknowledge we don’t actually know for certain the thing we are about to express, yet it still gives voice to the beliefs or thoughts.
I did not create this little gem (although I wish I had). It comes from The Meadows Model and is a snazzy little tool.
I personally use the phrase internally nearly every day. I’ll get a busy dialogue running around in my noggin about fear or shame or guilt and when I can drop in the handy “this is a story I’m making up” I can either get more data or let it go. My system settles right down.
Sometimes I need to seek out more info and gain actual understanding from another person or experience. Just taking a moment to become aware of the difference of what I know vs. what I’m making up allows the bundle or anxiety that is me to relax and reset.
The story I make up this morning is that you may find the phrase “the story I make up” to be useful in your own life.
And, if we think we aren’t one who makes up stories. that too is a story we make up.