Story telling as means for transformative growth

“Our bodies, in perfect reflection of our psyches, hold our personal mythologies. In this way we are all unique. This is what western medicine does not get. Clinical trials can never capture this.”

Someone took issue with my calling the reflection of our psyches in our bodies “mythology.” They thought this meant I was saying that what happens to us, then, is not in fact true or real somehow if I called them myths.

I responded with thisI practice not attaching to belief…that includes the stories I make up to explain and interpret my life. So I stand by my first statement. I think that it’s all made-up, yes. That is what we do as human beings. This is not to delegitimize or minimize the importance of story-telling…in fact I think it underscores the importance. the stories are always pointing to a real, neurological, yes, biological, reality that there are no words for. Life, the profound mystery is biology, is physics, is mathematics. Words are always nothing but pointers from an impoverished perspective because that is the nature of being human.

The reason I think knowing that we make up our stories is important is that it’s in reframing (retelling) our stories that we grow and transform…if we really believed our stories we might stay stuck in hell…(those of us who’ve been there anyway.) 

Salman Rushdie said it this way:

Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless.

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See also: Healing trauma links

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