The Power of Stories

Does anyone remember how lovely it is to have a story read to them?  

Maybe sitting on the carpet at school, maybe a parent or sibling taking time with you?  We all love a great film or box set with wonderful characters and amazing plot twists.  Some of us like the thrill of being scared while sitting safely in our front rooms while others enjoy the magic that only a great story can tell.

Stories can help us understand the world or escape from it, they can provide us with  information or simply be entertaining.  They are also a very important way in which our culture and ideology is communicated to us and they are a powerful social tool to tell us how we should behave, think or see what is going on in the world.

And it is that last bit, how stories can be used to direct or quietly control us that we would like to talk about today.  Because stories are not just in books and on TV, they are told by the press, in social media, by the government and prime minisiter, by your family and friends and by you.

Thinking about the way our stories are told by others and how how we tell the story of our own life can be both interesting and extremely useful.  It gives us a chance to properly reflect on our lives and what we have managed to get through. It lets us check in with others around us and see if our own interpretation of ourselves is correct or if we are being too negative, harsh or overly critical.  It lets us rewrite some of the stories that others tell about us to hurt or control us.  "You are useless and you'll never amount to anything" we know several people who were told this at school by terrible teachers who used their power to describe these children in a horrible way.  

If we do not take care and tell our own stroy we can be defined and described by others in a way that affects the way we live.  

Labels given by doctors can work against us and mean that it is hard to remember that we are all so much more than a "Diagnosis".  We have a friend who was labelled  "Borderline Personality Disorder" and believes that it has done much to increase the distress that she experiences, that people see her story as her label and look no further.  They do not see her, her life, her extraordinary story or the trauma and harm that was done to her.

No matter who you are, telling your own story, taking time to understand what has happened to you, what you have got through and what you have achieved (sometimes against all the odds) can be a brilliant way to help you focus on the positives and put your life in context. Making it easier for you to understand and tell.  And who knows, perhaps you can recognise yourself as the amazing hero you have always been?

If you would like to explore more about Story Telling please get in touch as we are looking to run some groups and workshops around this topic.

Well that's it for today.  Look forward to speaking again soon.

Let us know if there are any subjects you would like us to cover and enjoy looking at our past entries for more information and ideas and keep safe!!

Special good luck to all the students, teachers and associated staff and famailies returning to school this week - best wishes for a smooth start!

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