Friday, September 16, 2011

It's The Way You Tell It

No one, absolutely no one, tells a story like my sister.

Anyone who knows her or who has heard her re-telling  a tale of  some event or adventure will tell you they gasped for air as they laughed so hard they cried.  Seriously, sis is that funny and while you know somewhere in the back of your mind that she has exaggerated the story to some degree (though really not all the much) it really is the way she tells it that gets you to the point of tears of laughter.

While being around her pretty much guarantees you some laughs, it also means there are going to be times when you're going to be part of the story or worse, the lead character in the story.  Trust me, I've been there on more than one occasion and she loves to tell a tale that involves you especially when you're there.  While your first instinct might be to protest or correct her, the reality is, it's unlikely it help. I'm speaking from experience, it's better to just let her tell it and enjoy the reactions of those around you. Why am I sharing this with you?  Simply because there's a lesson or two to be learned here.

First, even though we may share an experience with others, we don't experience the experience the same way.  What we experience gets processed through our own internal filters and past experiences; so what we recall is actually a combination of the experience, the emotions it triggered in the moment as well as the memories and emotions it has triggered from the past.  That's why two people can witness an accident and when asked, they tell two very different versions of what happened.  Their internal filters have deleted, distorted and generalized what they saw by running it through their emotions, memories, values and other aspects of their internal processing. Since no two people are alike or have lived and experienced the exact same thing in the exact same way, there is no way they can filter things the same either, so their stories will be very different.

Second, we, as a society, really need to learn to take things (and ourselves) less seriously and to laugh a heck of a lot more.  People are so ready to take offence at every little thing, seeing it as a personal slight, a slur, an attack.  We need to counter this by building self-esteem, knowing who we are, releasing the need to be liked by everyone, and the need to have the approval and/or support of others in order to follow our dreams and passions.  Life becomes so much easier and freer when you are confident enough to know who you are and still be able to laugh at yourself from time to time.

I'm blessed to have a sister that can experience life and find the humour in it, sharing it with others in a way that leaves everyone laughing.  It's not hurtful, it doesn't belittle or demean anyone, it is simply sharing life through own human foibles and being able to laugh at them. Laughter really is the best medicine and even the toughest lessons can be taught through humour, it's all in the way you tell it...and trust me, my sis can tell it like no one else I  know ~ and I am so very thankful for her!