Answer me this #22: Stories

August 27, 2010

in Answer me this

Are you more than the sum of your stories?

Who are you without them?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica August 27, 2010 at 8:46 am

oooh. This is a tough one. The answer is yes. I am more than the sum of my stories because I could not possibly relay all the emotions, lessons, and experience of my story. There are always parts that stay private or that I probably don’t even understand or notice. Who am I without my stories? That is tougher for me to answer. Without my stories=experiences I wouldn’t have much to think about or talk about.


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:15 am

I think it gets down to your essence, your soul. Which is VERY tough to answer.

Wonderful thoughts, Erica.


Martha@A Sense of Humor is Essential August 27, 2010 at 9:13 am

Of course, I am, we all are when we are in the present.
Hmm, without my stories, I think I am just a little butterfly flitting around…

On another less esoteric note-
I am planning on swapping stories, laughs, and hugs with you when you come to San Diego for BlogHer next summer. The margaritas and chile rellenos will be my treat.


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

Exactly! About the present. So simple yet not so easy to stay in it.

Yum! Hoping to meet you in the coming year, for sure!


a August 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

One of those philosophers I read in high school said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For some reason, that always comforts me. So, yes, I am more than the sum of my stories…particularly since, even after having kissed the freaking Blarney Stone, I am not a very good storyteller.

What am I without my stories? A practical girl going about her business.


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:20 am

That is a comforting thought. I agree with both you and the philosopher. We are a wise bunch, huh?


Quiet Dreams August 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Hmmm. This one really got me thinking.

I think that my stories are such a huge part of who I am, but there is more. The things that end up being my stories show part of who I am, and also the way those stories are framed. If I were someone else, it is likely that many of my stories would have different “punchlines.”

There are my stories, and there is the meaning I derive from my stories. If I were a different person, I think I would derive different meaning from them (which essentially would make them different stories, no?).

Still pondering…


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

Oh, most definitely there is more. Now you’ve got ME pondering.


JoAnne Bennett August 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Sharing my sometimes painful, personal journey through my writing has been a healthy way for me to make any sense out of such a convoluted adoption story. Sadly, the deception didn’t end when my biological mother placed me for adoption at birth. I know friends, acquaintances, and even strangers are certainly listening as I continue to put my heart into words, but I wonder if they can read between the lines. When you posed this question Lori…I realized that literally having my whole world turned upside down with way too many lies and secrets has been the hardest struggle in trying to define who I am now from the “sum of my stories.”


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

Wow, JoAnne. In your situation, you have layer upon layer of stories. Not only the ones you tell yourself and know yourself, but the ones that were told to you, about you.

What is underneath all those stories? Who are you at your essence?


Kami August 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Yes, I think so. My experiences have shaped me, but I was also shaped by my genetics. I would also like to think I have some control over how I shape myself by how I lived and view those stories.


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:24 am

Ahhh…gets back to the nature/nurture issue.

Both sets of stories aside, who are we?

This aspect of the question has special meaning to both you and I.


Kami August 30, 2010 at 11:19 am

I don’t know. My therapist tried to get me to ask that question and my answers were all generic. I remember saying, “I think I am a good person.” and she said, “So what. Everyone views themselves as good. What makes you special.”

In in the context of our kids I wonder what that means. If I died today, would my children want to know more about me – who grew them and nurtured them for a short time but of whom they have no memory nor genetic connection – or more about their genetic contributor who will always be a part of them, present or not.

tami August 30, 2010 at 12:28 am

Each story provides an opportunity to discover what the soul has always known. With each story we are introduced to a tiny new piece of the light within our selves.


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 9:26 am

Oh, Tami, I love this. I think I started out thinking that maybe the stories we tell are somehow false, much like a play or a movie is not “real life” and which may obscure our true essence.

But your statement makes the stories light-bearers themselves. Which is a much more holistic view.


Miss Tori August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Yes, a person is more than just his or her stories. Stories often go untold, or get changed with the telling. Many times, the stories change as one evolves. I think that the stories are just a glimpse of who we are, at that particular moment in time.


Lavender Luz August 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Very insightful. So this begs the question, who are we eternally? If, indeed, we are anything over time?


WiseGuy August 31, 2010 at 12:13 am

Yes and No.

Yes, because I don’t say everything I know, and I may not know everything that is me.

No, because possibly it is with what I know that I will script my way through this world, and leave it at that. The stories will be my last traces…


Lavender Luz August 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm

And what about the stories you tell yourself about yourself? Sometimes I am not even aware that what I believe about myself might simply be a story, true only because I tell it.


Lavender Luz August 30, 2010 at 11:52 am

Maybe digging deeper into the answer to the question posed by your therapist will help you answer the question about what your children would want to know about you.

Maybe it’s really about what you believe about yourself and your value to them…?


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