By Rivka Willick
The stories we tell, read, hear, see, and experience become part of our personal life-map which provide a context for each of us to organize and help understand the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual challenges that we face every day. When we fill our life map with a wide range of quality stories, we will be able to explore and embrace individual trials and opportunities. If we’ve filled up on junk, our ability to access memories, emotions, and information will be compromised.
Sometimes we become dependent and begin to identify with the junk stories we’ve consumed. When the world begins to be an extension of addictive or compulsive content, the self will begin to lose bits of its genuineness.
I remember a woman who lived across the street when I was a teenager. She needed her Soaps every day. She once told me that if she missed even part of one of her afternoon shows, her entire day was ruined. She also used the characters in the show to fill up her day, they often showed up in conversations.
Discussions of popular stories are commonplace, but if these discussions are only recitations of plot points or characters or if you catch yourself living vicariously through these stories, the junk might be taking over. Check to see if you are the only one really talking. Try to expand these conversations into topics that matter. Remember, junk dumbs you down and dulls emotional responses, so push through it.
Junk stories also tend to draw individuals away from others and build a narcissistic attitude. Are you isolating, monopolizing conversations, or telling personal stories that are self-focused often with a harsh and sometimes offensive edge? Are you elevating yourself at the cost of others? If so, please consider reducing your junk story intake. Push yourself to explore new types of stories and seek out opportunities to interact and empathize with others.
Next Blog: Weening Off a Junk Story Diet