How stories can heal the wounded places



Native American storyteller (Smithsonian Institute)

 Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion ~ Barry Lopez


Perhaps it is because I come from an Irish tradition of the seanachai, the story-teller, that I hold the art of storytelling in such high-esteem. In times past, neighbours gathered around the fire to listen to the seanachai tell his stories. In America, you have the story telling tradition of the Native American people – stories which impart ancient wisdom to the listener.

Stories are how we orient ourselves in our world and make sense of what is going on in it. Telling our story is a way of discovering ourselves and what is deepest in our hearts. The very act of sharing our story with others counteracts the isolation we so often feel. It also carries within it the seeds of community and connection which is lacking in so many of our lives.

In his book, The Healing Art of Storytelling, a Sacred Journey of Personal Discovery, author Richard Stone is passionate about storytelling and its possibilities for human healing. He argues that storytelling is a lifeline to understanding, both between persons and within an individual psyche.

I was reminded of this once again, as I read the comments after Anna’s guest post earlier this week. Anna’s story evoked a response in many of you which illustrates the innate power of stories to touch us deeply.

Our stories help us access the hidden places within your soul that are well springs of healing.  We tell our stories in order to heal; in listening to the stories of how others have walked their path, our own journey of discovery and healing can be enriched.

Our stories are immensely valuable. We have so much compassion and wisdom to share.  So please continue to share your stories here.  “These stories and compassion”  have the power to unite us and hold us together in a profound and healing way.

Now read The Story of the Cracked Pot

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How To Stay Sane: The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling