storytelling for healing

I believe deeply in the healing power of stories. But let me tell you what I mean, because it has layers.

First, there are the lovely stories which touch our hearts or teach us something. We find them in books, sometimes in films, and are affected by their beauty, cleverness, authenticity.

Then there are the old stories, the fairy tales, which speak with simplicity and truth to the experiences of so many people through the ages. I've seen what happens when a group of women start talking about the story of Rapunzel, and how it resonates in so many different ways with their own lives. These stories are a wonderful general therapeutic resource.




But then there are the stories created just for one person - stories which relate with them, lyrically, metaphorically, about their own experience. (Yes, with them, not to them. Stories that come from the person's truth and resound it.) These stories are the ones I love best. They must be requested from the dark silence, and allowed to come freely in their own shape through the heart and mouth. They aren't composed by the teller. While it's beautiful to work through the regular process of creating a story, it's magical, humbling, glorious, to be a conduit through which the listener's words come.

I personally believe therapeutic stories are most special when they use fairy tale language, because the old rhythms and symbols lift us out of ordinary understanding, taking us to a place where we can hear with our hearts as well as our everyday minds.

I've been thinking about this subject a lot in the past while, so when I saw this post by Terri Windling, and a twitter link to this website, I knew life was engaging with my thoughts. One of these days I hope to write a whole book on the subject. It's tragic, I think, the way we break people's experiences down to questions, answers, soundbites, summaries, instead of honouring the complexity and magic of them.


12 comments:

  1. Oh please write a book about this. I often come to your site to find inspiration to write, and to find courage in facing my fears. And the hope that it's truly worth it, to sit down and write something.

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  2. yes, our society has the attention span of a gnat lately. perhaps partly because there is just so much going on all the time. lives are full of information and activity and (surface) connectivity, leaving us in a contradictory state of overwhelmed from the too-muchness and dissatisfied from the lack of real meaning. people feel they can't spare time or attention or energy to process anything---they want simple answers, black and white, brevity...but we crave richness, slowness, depth, resonance...the rituals and rhythms of good storytelling give us these things. we all have our times in the desert/underworld/dark wood, and having real stories can help us find our way out with the soul-gifts we are meant to find there.

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  3. We hardly let magic be anywhere, in our world. It has been banished. Or so it seems to me. How many blogs can one find, which even touch on it?

    But then, that just makes those blogs which do, even more precious.

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  4. And addition, to me, it doesn't matter so much, if we understand, or really hear, whatever message is given, in magical blogs. What matters is, that they exist. To let us know, that if we are drawn to such, we are not alone.

    Just a thought...

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  5. Thank you all for your comments, I appreciate them so much.

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  6. I so enjoyed this post, the way you have expressed yourself and offered a deeper way than what we often experience.

    I find people so busy that they often don't have time to even say thank you. I consider that life out of balance.

    "It's tragic, I think, the way we break people's experiences down to questions, answers, soundbites, summaries, instead of honouring the complexity and magic of them." this is such a wonderful way to consider. thank you.

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  7. Sept. 17

    Did you take down, your 'Technical Issues' post? I saw it before, and commented on it. But now, I don't find it........

    Please and thank you.

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    1. Yes, I did. I actually replied to your comment on it, then receiving a few more from people was quite satisfied so took it down. My apologies, I really very much appreciated your comment! :-) You are such a lovely person and kind commenter.

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  8. Oh, Sara ...my apologies. I must have been looking at another blog when I made a comment on Tessa's blog. You do not have the ..read more..feature on this blog. I am so sorry. My only excuse is that I made a four hour trip to buffalo and back and was very tired when I read Tessa's blog. Please forgive me.

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    1. No forgiveness necessary, it wasn't a problem at all :-) I was slightly concerned, but now its all sorted, and it was a good prompt to me to look more closely at my template and check all was well with it. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I hope your trip to Buffalo was a nice one, albeit long :-) So very nice to meet you!

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  9. Sarah, I have several quotes permanently displayed on my blog regarding the importance of sharing stories. This post expresses that idea beautifully.

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