When someone tells you a story, it’s a gift. The storyteller gives you something that you didn’t have before, or in a way that you didn’t have it before. The story belongs to the story teller, but that version of the story, the one that you have been given, becomes yours. The story enters your life, and combines with all that you already know and believe. It is filtered through your life experience and frame of reference, and it takes its new life in you, informed by all the things you already know or believe.
When you are given a story, what you do with it is your choice. You can decide that you like it, or don’t like it. You can ignore it, or pay it some attention, you can value it or give it no value. You can discard it, or protect it, share it or conceal it. You can try to understand what it means, and try to explain what it means, or not. It may resonate with you, it may not, and you have the choice to remember it or forget it all together.
All of these stories are gifts, given with generosity of heart and spirit. Because of this, they are also your stories now, to do with as you choose.