The Power of Story - How We Make Sense of Our World
"What is sought...is not some flambouyant new form of consciousness that will seize men's minds and revolutionize the world, but an almost imperceptable inner change - a willed suspension of conventional judgements, a poised awareness, a stillness, in which long-smothered voices that speak the language of the soul can be heard again."
Alan McGlashan, The Savage and Beautiful Country
Over the last few years it has become increasingly clear to me, both personally and professionally, that the stories we tell ourselves significantly shape our model of reality. We all have a personal narrative, a story for our lives, a type of myth we live by. It's been shaped by past experiences, by what we have witnessed and heard and the meanings we put on those experiences. The meanings about such events now becomes the story we carry within us. Oftentimes, those stories are not really helping us. They keep us trapped, fearful and only half awake and alive to the beauty of life all around us.
The deeper meanings in stories are like blueprints that serve as a pattern in the brain that we then seek to match in the real world. Knowing that the brain is always trying to make sense of the world by matching up patterns, it is paramount that the deeper, underlying patterns of our personal myths are life-enriching rather than life-limiting.
- why do I keep experiencing the same types of problems?
- Why do my relationships keep failing?
- Why am I no good with money?
- Why do I have unexplained physical symptoms?
- Why do I feel the way I do without there being any conscious reason for it?
The answers could all be in the stories you might be carrying around in you. My own life was shaped for 40 years by a story my mother told me as a boy. The deeper meanings in it acted as a template that I unconsciously lived my life by.
The good news is that by changing the story you really can change your life. When we re-tell our stories and adjust the meanings we put on events (that might have happened decades ago or even longer) we can return our suffering to its authentic psychic roots so that it may be detached from present situations to which it does not belong. When you carry within you a more empowering life-narrative you update those templates on a neurological level, changing your model of reality.
"Myths inspire the realization of the possibility of your perfection, the fullness of your strength, and the bringing of solar light into the world." Joseph Campbell
Thus, in your therapy sessions one of the questions I will ask you is about what stories you heard as a child. Fairytales, in particular, contain that deeper, symbolic pattern. Left unchecked (as it was for me), a story can shape your whole life. It becomes a myth you live your life by, a blueprint for your life. But it doesn't have to be this way. Stories can be changed.
What story are you playing out in your life? Would you like to change it? Call me now for more info on 0845 450 2326
©Copyright Gavin Roberts 2018