the power of stories




There is a great deal of power in stories. Stories and language are very powerful. Our use of language and where we put language in a story and how we use it adds to the forcefulness of a story. Stories and words effect peoples lives. They can destroy people. They can reorientate and give life back to people.  

Stuff is spoken into peoples lives that is done with malice and intends harm. Some people have a way of planting time bombs in peoples lives. You hear some very cruel stuff in counselling spoken many years ago into a persons life.Wonderfully you hear of some wise or kind words that totally re orientated someones broken or insignificant or unloved life.

Enjoying  stories or listening to stories is part of life. Stories which relate to us, with links to our family or to where we are in life are intriguing. Stories which relate to where we have come from and what we’ve been shaped by are good because they hint at where we are going. Families have lots of stories. Communities and nations also have stories. Workplaces have stories. There are lots of story tellers. The stories that are shaped and moulded and retold within families in various ways speak to people’s lives and create a picture. Stories can be funny or ironic, they can be wise or silly. They have a power to penetrate deeply. Forbidding stories is another way of controlling what people think. I think that has happened in the media space and academic space with Australian history over the past 40 years.

Some stories are not true. Some stories emphasise the darkness and discount the goodness or resilience or domestic bravery of an ordinary life. Some stories paint things in a rosy flowering hue and ignore the toxins dripping from the thorns. Some stories are more about the story teller and reflect on their conspicuous virtues as they emphasise sentimentality and their compassion.

Individuals can have their own internal repetitive stories. Some of those stories need to be acknowledged as unhelpful or even destructive. It becomes obvious in counselling that people carry around a story teller in their own minds. “I’m not good enough, I’ll always fail and life and success belongs to others, but never to me, and nothing will ever change, or I should just put up with this as its my lot"

In life, some story tellers need to be well and truly exited from the workplace of the mind and all access passes and invitations back into the workplace, rescinded for life.