Heallen *loved* stories.
She relaxed to fictional stories, but preferred people’s actual stories for mental and creative stimulation.
When she was a teenager, she began a game. As she listened to someone’s personal story, she would assess their story to see how much of an influence that person’s family, culture, workplace, relationships, or some other external force, had had on the shaping of that particular story.
It didn’t take her long to realise that most people spoke about external stories only; those stories that happened to us, or with us. Those stories that other people could witness, or quantify. The ones that were fairly easy to share.
Very few people opened up about their inner stories.
Still, Heallen figured that if most of her personal stories happened inside her mind, those stories she called inner stories, then the same was most likely true for everyone else.
She also realised she couldn’t simply expect people to open to her when she wasn’t open with them about her inner stories, especially the ones she was ashamed of, or scared about.
During most of her awkward adolescence, as Heallen continued her adventure to know people better through their stories, she wondered how much the external stories people shared affected their inner stories.
She applied this question to her own external stories and, over two years, realised that, yes, her external stories affected her inner stories, sometimes modifying them, but mainly confirming them, giving them strength.
Did the same happen in reverse? Do our inner stories affect our external stories?
Heallen puzzled over this question for many years.
Her life had become that of an adult, with the responsibilities and expectations of an adult, and she no longer felt she had the right to spend so many hours in musing the questions about people she used to indulge in.
Without knowing it, she lost herself under the force of her inner stories, and the inner stories of those people around her she cared about.
For years, she was lost in a mental and emotional quagmire, striving to be the best adult she could be.
For years, she didn’t even think about her inner stories.
For years, she lost herself.
When she finally awoke from her soul-slumber, it took her many years to remember her questions from her younger self, and even more time to answer them.
The day she realised her inner stories had directed, compelled and influenced her external stories to a much greater, yet unknowable, degree than the reverse, she felt free.
Free to reverse read her external stories to discover the underlying inner stories.
Free to drill down into each layer of each inner story, until she found the origin of that inner story.
Free to understand herself better. To know herself more intimately than she ever thought possible.
Her quest to know herself through her personal stories began in earnest.
As Heallen discovered, it’s our inner stories that affect us on a much larger scale than we’re aware of. Because our external stories are consciously known, we give them more credence. But our conscious stories only account for approximately 10-15% of all our stories: that’s a mountain—or iceberg—load of stories we have no real clue about.