From some observation deck up in your brain, there’s a voice broadcasting a play-by-play narrative of your life. Sometimes we are aware, sometimes not, but our minds are perpetually telling a story.

There are times when that voice constructs a full-blown drama of intrigue. There are also times when an entire tale is told with just a quiet sigh deep in the liminal recesses of the mind, whispering “Ugh, what a waste of time!”

Raw reality provides none of that. That narrative your mind is telling is not a passive record of facts, a mere shadow cast by the actors, a neutral frame for a snapshot of time. RatherMuch as our sense of touch knows a thing through manipulation, so too our minds., much as our sense of touch knows a thing through our manipulation of it, so too our minds, observing, processing and spewing out their commentary in the background, provide structure, meaning and import to every experience of our lives. All with those little stories.

And they’re not necessarily benign.

Choose Your Story and Choose Your Life

The narratives of humankind have driven tribes to conquer and grow to empires, sustained civilizations and allowed The micro-stories each of us tell of our own private dramas determine the conquest of our personal destinies. them to fall—and then regenerated them from the dust. More than any other tool of humankind, our legends have been responsible for building the world in which we currently live. Our faith in those mega-stories will determine whether that world implodes, decays or flourishes.

So too, the micro-stories each of us tell of our own private dramas determine the conquest of our personal destinies. Stories are the channels we dig within our psyches through which our past will flow into our future.

Let’s say the story we tell of today is of time wasted with no good outcome, of utter frustration in which we were the dog chasing its tail, the ant following a futile recursive path of its own making.

We have effectively blocked the flow of the stream of life. We have robbed both yesterday and tomorrow of their vitality, rendering them a parched no man’s land, just as dead as we cast them to be.

But if we tell a story of that same day, this time of lessons learned and wisdom gained—for there is nothing really, not even a single moment in G‑d’s world, that doesn’t sing out infinite wisdom to anyone who will lend an open ear and clarity of mind—then we have opened wide the portals of life to gush into our world and nurture a vibrant tomorrow.

Choose Real Stories

Because the streams of life that flow from Above into our world can bring only good. The true, objective reality, wrote Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi to a The true, objective reality is nothing other than the perpetual unfolding of Divine wisdom at every momentfriend and disciple, is nothing other than the perpetual unfolding of Divine wisdom at every moment, regenerating every detail of our world from the void—its past, present and future. And Divine wisdom is the origin of all life, goodness and pleasure, the primal Eden that waters the Garden from an unknowable place far beyond. It is up to us only to open our psyches wide and clear, so we can commune with that life in its purest form.

And all that happens through those little stories in your mind.

Let’s say the story we tell of our current sorrows is an angry one, a bitter one, a tale of the poor victim in a meaningless, G‑dless world—then we would be polluting the stream of life with harsh toxins. What hope could there be for anything to grow?

Instead we could describe the same series of events as a story of fortitude and unwavering optimism despite all odds, of a pure and inviolate faith that one day we will see the meaning of all that has befallen us and how it was all good, pure good, such great good that it surpasses human imagination to envision in any way how it could possibly be good. Now the gates of tomorrow have been opened wide.

Sometimes we could kick ourselves for having made a lousy decision. We kick and cry and rant that we were given bad advice, that facts were withheld, that the entire world conspired against us.

But instead we can trust that even at that time when we made our decision, even then, He-Who-Knows-All-Thoughts was there, intimately there, in that thought, guiding us to make this decision, for reasons unbeknownst to us at present. But for reasons that are all good.

And with that story alone, the good is unwrapped from its package and shines in the daylight.

We could be upset and pout over the things we don’t have, things we feel we need and must have just to get by.

Or we can understand that we are lacking nothing, that if there is anything truly good for us at this moment that we could have, it would be granted to us—for the One Who Owns All Things loves us like a parent loves an only child, and desires for us only good.

We can tell a story that is the true, ultimate story that underlies all stories, a story of love between our souls and the Soul that breathes within this universe and transcends all things at the same moment, who cannot be grasped by any thought, by any understanding, yet is embraced tightly in the innermost stirrings of the human heart.

But Why Choose a Lousy Story?

From those inner, ineffable passions come always the very best stories. Stories that give life and celebrate life.

But there really is no point in telling a lousy story, a story entirely divorced from that inner, absolute reality that you yourself recognize deep inside to be true. Nothing but a manic urge for self-destruction disguised in a cloak of realism.

Since the underlying current that drives reality is only good, a good story can be told about almost anything. And if not, a story of faith—for we cannot close the book on any story, since we cannot know its ending until a time when we will look down upon it from above. So weEmbrace all of life with faith that somehow all is good. embrace all of life with faith that somehow all is good, and somehow that good will imminently break out of its mystery-cocoon to unravel itself and spread its wings as revealed, magnificent good. The faith itself is enough to break the cocoon.

The choice is yours. Choose to tell a narrative of your life that gives you yet more life.