Let's Live Better Stories

Few events make me more emotional and reflective than weddings. This past weekend, my husband and I had the joy of standing beside our best friends as they became husband and wife. The entire weekend had me in a puddle of tears and smiles as I spent time with a community of people that hadn't been reunited since my wedding, nearly a year and a half ago. In my matron of honor speech that I gave at the reception, I had known what I wanted to say for quite some time, but I knew that I needed a center point to tie it all together. In my planning, I found a quote by Donald Miller that said, "A story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling people around us what we think is important to us." The phrase fit perfectly with what I wanted to say about my best friends and the story they live, but it also made me think about the story that I've been living and what it says to the people around me.

The thing is, whenever we have a truly great experience, whether it be at an event, on vacation, or just a "once in a lifetime" moment, we walk away with a newfound joy and resolve that every day should be that good. We long for the euphoria of knowing that we are fully loved and fully known by the people around us. And then, we return to normal life with shrugged shoulders and a sense of discouragement because of Monday morning emails and the stress of the real world.

But, if my story is a window to the world around me, every decision that I make in the day to day tells people what I think is important. My reactions to stress and negative situations are an indicator of whether or not I'm living joyfully or without a sense of purpose. Instead of walking away from a mountaintop experience and constantly looking over our shoulders, what if we choose to act differently as we move forward?

Living a life invested in community is a constant decision. You don't build great communities by sitting and hoping that they will come to you. I know that because I've done it the wrong way many times since I moved to Colorado. In Nashville, I did it right, and that's one reason why the past weekend was so incredibly special. As I say to my clients, only you can do this work, only you can make the change you are looking for.

Let's live better stories today.