Monday, December 7, 2015

The Power of Stories

"When the story is in your mind, then you see its relevance to something happening in your own life. It gives you perspective on what's happening to you. . . . These bits of information from ancient times, which have to do with the themes that have supported human life, built civilizations, and informed religions over the millennia, have to do with deep inner problems, inner mysteries, inner thresholds of passage, and if you don't know what the guide-signs are along the way, you have to work it out yourself" (pg 2).

Am reading: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell


This is why stories are so powerful, I think. Young adult literature was just starting to gain traction in the marketplace when I was in college (getting its own section in the bookstore, etc.). I didn't "meet" Sarah Dessen until my junior year of college, and The Truth About Forever (one of my favorite books, ever) didn't come along until a few years after that.

I always say TTAF was my book. That's the book I needed when I was a senior in high school, dealing with the death of my grandfather. I don't want to call my family "emotionally bankrupt" because that seems harsh, but I definitely learned early on that showing sadness is a sign of weakness.

I was Macy, that year: "Fine. Just Fine."

I like to think I would've handled that year much better had the story been available to me sooner. I might've grieved like I was supposed to and moved on instead of bottling things up. I might've skipped that bad relationship had I read Dreamland.

I love that stories give us a frame of reference--that they take experiences and make them real for us. We find ourselves in them, and they become our guide-posts.

Stories are powerful.

If you have a story inside you that deals with life's problems and inner mysteries which could be a road map for others, I don't know why you would ever want to keep that inside you.

We need your stories. :)