Last week, I led a session where I asked, ‘What has inspired you this week?” This was at the start of a journey of discovery with an amazing group of people and their comments were inspirational nuggets of hopes in story form.
I always find I return to the importance of stories, the intertwined events that weave together and connect with our feelings, which we relate and react to, interpret and use to form our responses and perceptions.
Each of us will bring to bear our past experiences in our interpretation, choice of language, our own place in the story, and the events we choose to replay.
We all have our own stories, many of us will share the same story, but our own versions may differ dramatically depending where we are standing.
This has prompted me to consider the assumptions we make based on our own sign systems, and how we can challenge these. One way is reading others’ stories, hearing other stories and appreciating their points of view to challenge our own viewpoints.
We may call this empathy, we may call it kindness, but what if it changed us? What if we were empowered with new thinking, a sense of agency, the drive to change things?
The power of story to transform is not lost on those of us who are familiar with storytelling – what about those who aren’t? What about those who, for whatever reason, have disruptions that obscure their story path? Or those that are unable to connect their thoughts and experiences with emotions, and therefore, can’ t tell, let alone write, their story, or are stood at a convergence of paths, and have no idea where to turn? This brought to mind the children I have met ‘along the pathways of my own story. It’s probably also true of some of the adults I meet too.
It’s not up to us to write their stories, but we can empower them to find the way. This is not just one path, each individual will have their own path to tread, so as their guide, it is up to us to develop the wisdom to hear their voice, help clear away the brambles, enable them to climb over fences, brave the dragons lurking in the deepest corners of the forest, and to discover their own treasures along the way.
We have to believe and ensure that everyone has a chance to negotiate their path, nurture them when they stumble, and empower their confidence to blaze new trails across their landscape in their quest to succeed on the path of their choosing.
It may not be the path we’d choose. There may be detours along the way, but we’re there to support them in creating their narratives and celebrating their steps along the way.
You may be reading this and thinking about someone-or a group of someones. How can you help them get on the path? How can you enthuse them with the desire to try? Where will you open the page?
Lots of this is dependent on you knowing, really hearing their back story, the prologue and entering their story free from judgement. It’s not your story, you are merely a character they meet along the way.
It is, however, up to you to help set the scene, and consider if you will be viewed as a friend or foe, a wise advisor, or a controlling ruler, or maybe a magician of wonder, a companion at arms,
Let’s create some legends and rewrite the narratives for those that need us.
If you want to know more about my work, have a look at the Boundless pages on this website.