In fact, my wife recently decided to tell the story, to two of our friends, of one of my biggest “open mouth/insert foot” incidents of our entire relationship.
I couldn’t believe she was going to tell it, yet I also had to admit there was some humor to be mined there.
Which Kind of Story Are You Talking About, Greg?
Of course you know that the term “story” has two meanings here. One meaning refers to the common vernacular where a “story” is simply a description of some circumstances.
The other meaning, however, is more important to all of us “Grow a Greater You” practitioners – it refers to the meaning and value we confer upon any material experience. In this case, I’m taking advantage of both uses of “story”, yet the second is most significant.
Here is the “Regular” Story, Not the “Grow a Greater You” Story
Here is the event:
In 2009, my wife and I had been dating a short while, yet I already knew our relationship had awesome potential. I cared about her and I knew she felt likewise.
I had been divorced for about three years.
We were at a large dinner party, hosted by one of her best friends. There were sixteen or so adults, some of them I’d met, all of them my wife’s friends.
I’ll say it, as much as a confident dude like me hates to admit it – I was nervous. Part of what prompted that feeling was the presence of a couple who knew my ex-wife well.
(My feeling of being nervous was simply a reflection of my true beliefs about whether it was “okay” for me to be dating someone I cared about)
While sharing something with the group, I accidentally referred to my wife by my ex-wife’s name. People stopped talking for just a second as everyone realized my mistake. Then the host changed the subject and conversation continued.
I felt like a real a-hole, believe me. I was completely embarrassed and considered myself a total schmuck.
Here Is My Version of That Event
Here is the story I’ve been telling myself, the version I created, ever since that evening:
“I know everyone understood my mistake. They all probably felt bad for me, actually. And I know my wife forgave me; me referring to her publicly by my ex-wife’s name definitely embarrassed her and hurt her feelings, but she got over it and let it go. And I was simply an a-hole who put his foot in his mouth and made a completely stupid and embarrassing mistake. It’s not the end of the world, but I was certainly a shmuck and it’s an uncomfortable evening I don’t enjoy remembering.”
That is the context I have always given that event, the story I’ve always told. The version of that event that I created in my universe was “Even though he didn’t mean to do it, Greg was an a-hole and schmuck on that night.”
That is the story I told myself, that has been the “way it is”, literally, regarding that event, for me.
Here Is My Wife’s Version of That Event
So, listen to this.
My wife tells her version of that event to our friends and this is what she says:
“Greg was just meeting most of the folks at Tracy’s dinner party for the first time. He was the stranger among all there friends; who wouldn’t be a little nervous? At one point during dinner, Greg accidentally referred to me by his ex-wife’s name. I didn’t enjoy it, but I could see by the look on Greg’s face that he was mortified. Tracy heard it, so, being a great host (and person), she immediately changed the topic. But (name withheld) actually interrupted Tracy and asked Greg to repeat the name he’d accidentally called me. She had known Greg’s ex and was actually enjoying calling him out in front of everybody. I couldn’t believe it and neither could anyone else. Luckily, Greg didn’t take the bait and the conversation moved on.”
I suddenly realized that, although my wife and I had both experienced the same exact event, she chose to create a version of it where I wasn’t an a-hole and where the actual “villain” was someone else.
Both of our versions of this event were truthful, honest, and believable. They were both real. But my wife happened to choose to believe in my worth a bit more than I decided to.
Thank you, honey!
I’ve Decided To Start Listening to My Wife’s Stories More Often
By the way, I intentionally used the verb “were” twice in the previous paragraph, when referring to our different versions of the same event. Because, since learning my wife’s version of that night, I decided to tell her story. Her version, after all, serves me a heck of lot better than the one I was carrying around!
Give yourself the same freedom today. You, after all, are not bound by some law which states you’re not allowed to tell yourself the best-feeling, believable story. Like me, you can do that for any darn thing you choose. No matter how long you’ve been telling the displeasing, self-deflating one!
And stay tuned to this site for more specific tips and techniques to use quantum paradigms to align your beliefs with your desires and direct your life in the most pleasing manner possible…