You: The Untold Story

Especially living here in Washington DC, one of the truths I have discovered as I’ve progressively shed more layers of naiveté is that there is always more to the story. It took me a long, long time to appreciate this, but my slowness may be due to the fact that I am so straight forward and earnest–it’s my nature to assume everyone else will be that way, as well. Heh heh. Not so. So, not so. But, just because I’ve become savvier in a city known for its duplicity and double talk, this doesn’t mean that all untold stories necessitate skeletons in the closet. Well, maybe here in Washington it does, but that doesn’t mean that’s true where you live…

Moving away from matters of politics and policy, I’d like to direct your attention to the untold story that resides within you. What is it? What’s your untold story? Is it a deep hidden secret? Is it a fantasy breakout role you’ve long harbored? Is it a part of your past? Or something else entirely? What is that part of you that hovers within, unknown to everyone but you?

Personally, I think it’s fun to think about such things and imagine an alternate reality where my untold story greeted the bright light of day—my life would be so different! If I were to make a list of the dramas and desires that lurk beneath the me who people see, I bet I’d cringe a little. Why? Because, despite our reality-tv besieged culture, I believe that most people prefer not being fully known. Maintain the mystery, say I!

The thing about some of our untold stories is that they’re usually more apparent than we realize. Plus, the rest of us are no dummies, so even without direct proof, we can usually put two and two together, supplying whatever colorful details you neglect to share. Having read a whole lot of literature, I’m really good at this stuff, so I’m going to tell you how to do it. I’m going to coach you how to pick up the clues: first, go for the most obvious explanation. Eight times out of ten, you’ll hit close to the mark. Oh, and remember to look at the shadows—don’t limit yourself to a straight on inspection. Those shadows can convey a lot. For the other twenty percent, you’re probably missing enough other pieces of the puzzle that you couldn’t guess right, anyway.

Our untold story lies in that twenty percent. That’s where each of us bobs and weaves enough that those around us can’t figure out why we’re doing what we’re doing, why we like X activity so much, why we resist doing Y. Maybe even we, ourselves, don’t understand that mysterious twenty. (I’m not entirely sure that I do.) But, I’m willing to bet that more often than not, it’s that twenty percent that has greater influence over our lives and the choices we make than we know.

Now, I want you to go back to whatever secret it is you thought about earlier in this post. Take a few moments to consider how that secret has influenced your life and your decisions. Why is it so important and yet so hidden? If it makes things easier, you can start by speculating on the untold story of somebody close to you—why do you think they turned out the way they did? What do you suspect influenced their line of thinking? You’ll never know the actual answer to this question, but thinking about it may lead you to notice things you hadn’t noticed before.

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One Response to “You: The Untold Story”

  1. Jim Patterson Says:

    This is part of the new book I am writing: Healing Childhood Memories: Re-writing the Story.

    Good stuff Chrisanna.


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