These stories are the most human and natural things in the world. As children, we made them up to explain why the people we loved acted in ways that seemed painful to us. The stories made us feel safe even when the grown-ups in our lives didn't. They provided order; they kept us sane. They stopped us from being utterly overwhelmed by emotions and events in our lives. And the stories stay with us if they aren't exposed and updated. They don't change; they don't update. Sometimes they keep us feeling safe and loved, but more often, they start to break down in adulthood and cause us to act in the ways listed above. That's the one big problem with stories
From Becoming Real: Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back by Gail Saltz, M.D. Copyright © 2004 by Gail Saltz Klein. Excerpted by permission of Riverhead Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.