I have written about this before, but wanted to look into it again for myself.
When a story is taken as true, it has several effects. Mainly…
My stories tells me it is true. I find supporting stories. I find allies who believe the same. I deny the truth in the reversals of these stories. And I deny the limited truth in these stories. In short, attention goes to stories aimed at proving a position.
My emotions become reactive. (Reactive anger, sadness, depression, frustration.)
My body tenses up. (Tensions, jitteriness, dullness, shallow breath.)
And since these effects are always associated with beliefs, I come to take them as support for the initial belief.
Life shows up a certain way. It triggers reactive emotions, tension in the body and stories aimed at proving a point, and all of this is taken as support for my initial belief.
My stories tells me it is true. My emotions tells me it is true. My body tells me it is true. So it must be true.
Say I have the belief that neighbors should be quiet.
They are not. (Playing drums at midnight. Using a leaf blower. Playing the radio outdoors throughout the day.)
I tell myself stories about how they are wrong. Disrespectful. Neanderthals. I find others who agree with me.
My emotions are reactive. I experience frustration. Anger. Hopelessness.
My body tenses up and my breath is more shallow.
And all of that tells me that I am right. All of it is taken as support for my initial belief, my neighbors should be quiet.
Seeing this, over and over, helps me recognize that I cannot go to stories, emotions or my body for truth. All I find there is reactions to beliefs.
(At least in this context. There are other ways I can go to the emotions and body for the truth, such as when there is a quiet intuition telling me something. Or when I find a deep relaxation which reflects a shift into nonseeking mind or Big Mind.)