I grew up listening to one piece of advice. My father said it. My grandfather said. And the advice was always delivered in the potato patch.
Or in front of a pumpkin.
“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”
Stories were currency in my family and if you didn’t have a good story to tell, you pretty much didn’t have a place at my father’s table.
I learned young, and I learned quickly (i.e., hard), that the quickest way to open people’s ears, eyes and hearts was by telling a story.
With story stakes so high – approval, love, popularity, influence, riches, favouritism, food! – why NOT embellish, exaggerate… lie?
Well, the answer is in the question, gentle grasshopper.
A lie by definition is an untruth. A false statement shared with the deliberate intent to deceive.
“If you call one wolf, you invite the pack” is a Bulgarian proverb I find highly disturbing. Just look at our pack of politicians.
If you tell one lie and get it away with it, the next lie slips off the tongue faster and easier. I mean, no one likes a quitter, right? And if everyone is not really telling the truth then….
But what’s really odd? We can lie and people, especially the people who love us, will believe us.
Tell a lie, get a reward. Tell another lie, get another reward and soon – you’re not a beautiful storyteller but an ugly spider!
Oh, the web we weave when we set out to deceive.
Whenever you feel a tap-tap from your inner Light questioning if you’ve sacrificed truth telling for storytelling, ask yourself:
*Am I sharing this story from a place of harmlessness?
*Is this story benevolent and life-affirming?
*When I tell this story, what am I feeling inside my body?
*If the people in this story were here with me right now, would they agree, for the most part, with my version of events?
We always know (feel!) when we’re lying. We always know (feel!) when what we say is from our lower self and not our highest Light.
By sacrificing truth for trite, we’re not automatically bad people. But we do run the risk of playing “trick-or-treat” with public opinion.
Worse, we damage the private opinion we have of ourselves as story-making morphs into a monster called Lies.
Remember, when we abuse the trust and good nature of others, we’re doing some heavy-duty back-alley abuse to our self-respect and self-trust.
Plus, your sexy Muse? That truth-loving diva will leave you and slam the door behind her! And she won’t be back.
Here’s an excellent writing, editing and speaking tip: If you’re in doubt, leave it out.
Absolutely show up on page or (Zoom) stage radiating charm, levity, enthusiasm, authenticity and good humour.
Please smile when delivering your story, at least a little bit here and there.
Even if you’re at the funeral parlour, smile. Of course, I assume you are standing up and not laying down.
Yes, show us your wildest characters, greatest loves, most hilarious blunders, craziest encounters.
Keep your story moving using editing, emotion, exaggeration and embellishment.
Just don’t lie like your pants are on fire.
When you communicate to contribute not contaminate or condemn, you’re the most powerful, ancient, original kind of storyteller out there.
You’re telling a story as a benevolent soothsayer and powerful truthteller.
Remember what I learned in the potato patch by digging deep and getting dirty: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” is license to shine like a star not spin like a spider.
Spin a yarn but never weave a web, my friend. We have packs of politicians for that sort of dirty, stinko, sicko work. You and me? Nope.
Here’s to sprinkling treats all over our stories and leaving tricks to trolls.
Happy Boo! Day, sweet storyteller. May you always have a beautiful story bubbling inside your story-loving heart.
♥ Shannon ♥