I believe that each person has a story (or rather a thousand stories) by which he or she lives. Like the spiral of the seashell, stories continue to evolve and help us to resolve and integrate our evolving identities.
“Tell me a story!” is often a request (or demand!) of a child to a parent. When parents cannot tell one, they reach for a book. The nighttime ritual of story telling and story reading brings order and sense to the mind before sleep. These rituals create and build the child’s identity.
Children also love stories because they can then pretend to be a character from that story and embody those values. A child might pretend to be a princess or a fireman. Each child instinctively tries on characters and stories to develop a reality in which to live and move and have their being.
By the time we have grown up into adults, we have learned to embody many stories, each of which has been authored and re-authored (or rewritten) many times. Each story, whether liberating or confining, carries the life meaning and social meaning for each individual.
The more aware you are of your story or narrative, the more conscious is your living. There are thousands of narratives in each person’s life. Each narrative is a journey into Selfhood. We construct stories to guide us and to create beginnings that will travel toward satisfying endings.
I believe that as we construct our stories, we each construct a meaningful life. And as we deliberately re-author them, we give ourselves permissions to become new and significant.