Once upon a time – the power of story

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 in Spiritual living

I recently heard a piece on the radio talking about the decline in the number of parents reading stories to their children, and I thought what a great shame that is. I have really fond memories of bedtime sessions with my two sons, bringing the Harry Potter (among others) books to life with my silly accents and crazy facial expressions. I have to confess I wasn’t sure who was enjoying it more in the end; them or me!

I still love a good story and, despite this age of TV and computer games, so do kids if you’ve ever watched an enthralled audience hanging on to every word from the gifted storytellers of our time like Daniel Morden. In the past, story was the only medium for passing on important information and ancient wisdom and it worked because it was immediate, dramatic, personal and memorable. It’s much easier to remember something if you can also remember that you were holding sides that ached with laughter or peeping out from behind your hands in terror when you heard it.

Stories speak to our soul because they tap into universal human concerns, problems and dilemmas through archetypes (an archetype is an original pattern of behaviour which is repeated everywhere else) – that is why the ancient Greek myths are still so popular and meaningful today. And have you noticed how the modern film industry is using Shakespeare and other classic stories for their plot lines more and more these days?

In a world where it is easy to become disconnected – one person from another, generation from generation, culture from culture – stories can bridge the gap, showing that we are all in essence the same and that we are not alone in our experiences, good or bad. Through story we can share the very heart of who we are and the values and beliefs that shape our families, communities, and cultures. There is tremendous healing power in that. Through story we can lift ourselves out of the present moment and circumstance and allow our spirits to soar above perceived limitations and barriers. There is incredible magic in that.

By sharing our personal stories, as we have been doing extensively in my workshops, we can help each other with difficult choices, raise awareness of the possible traps that lie in wait for us, become inspired to take our lives in different directions and make sense of our experiences. By learning about and understanding someone else, we find that we actually understand ourselves more clearly. There is eternal power in that.

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.