Through listening to and reading the stories of others, we build the tools we need to frame our own experiences. Without words or narrative skill, we cannot reference or fully inhabit what happens to us and our responses to it; we cannot focus our thoughts or our emotions.
Stories give us metaphor, the stuff of the ‘creation of meaning’. They give us legends based on archetypes that enable us to recognize the rich cast of characters that inhabit our inner worlds.
Our ability to tell our own story and, further, to be aware that we choose the particular narrative that we tell ourselves and others, has a profound impact on our capacity for happiness.
The quality of our personal storytelling, as well as our capacity to listen to and truly hear the stories of others, is fundamental to our ability to connect, to build relationship.
Storytelling enables us to share our experiences and our perceptions of them and thus to show each other who we are. Our stories bind us together by connecting us to the commonality of symbol and myth and to our shared humanity.