I talk about stories a lot — because they matter! Just the act of embracing and recording our stories can be healing. Our stories also might help someone else know how to walk through issues in their life. Sharing them with our families can create and preserve a family legacy.
Author and teacher Ray Buckley says in his book Dancing with Words:
“There is both physical and psychological healing associated with the telling of our personal stories. We seem to be able to offer and identify the positives in our stories and confront the conflicts. In the same sense, others who hear our stories and relate to our experiences cease to be ‘others’ and are pulled into community with us. It is through the act of sharing our stories that all are made aware that ‘I am not alone.’ “
Our life stories are powerful. The challenges, victories, adventures, heartaches — every episode that has helped form who you are today holds a message that someone else may need to hear. When revisited, stories from our own lives also give us tools for reflection and for making sense of our lives.
Author and storyteller Daniel Taylor, in his helpful book Tell Me A Story, reminds us that we have the power to write a better story for our lives:
“Knowing and embracing healthy stories are crucial to living rightly and well. If your present story is broken or diseased, it can be made well. Or, if necessary, it can be replaced by a story that has a plot worth living.”
My friend, author and teacher Leslie Leyland Fields, has created a course to guide us in writing our stories. Why Your Story Matters and How to Tell It leads potential writers through eight sessions that include videos, homework assignments, feedback and live calls with Leslie. The course also includes an online community where writers support and encourage one another.
I know Leslie’s course works because I’ve taken it and applying what I’ve learned has helped me write a better story — for healing and legacy and to witness to the goodness of God.