There is a power deep within life stories. Through the stories we tell of our lives, we tap into ageless themes that suddenly become familiar to us, adding greater meaning to our lives, and linking us to our ancestors. Our stories are variations of one of the thousands of myths, folk tales, or legends that have spoken to us for generations of our inner truths.
Telling our stories, like sacred stories in traditional communities, strengthens family and community bonds, holding communities together. With so many families living so far apart today, and so many others still suffering from the effects of various hurts over the years spent together, stories can connect families across great distances, be they internal or external. Stories give a family definition and create “communities of memory.” Sharing personally significant stories sustain hope for the future. Telling our life stories makes the implicit explicit, the hidden seen, the unformed formed, and the confusing clear.
“Our lives are journeys toward a certain kind of wisdom, which is a love and appreciation for all living creatures,” says Mary Pipher in Writing to Change the World. As we tell and share the stories of our journey toward this understanding, this love and appreciation can not help but bring us closer together; it can not help but change our world.