I believe one of the most powerful ways to break down the stigma associated with mental illness is story. Stories have great power…transforming power. Part of this transforming power comes from the intimacy of storytelling that allows us to connect with others at a deep level. Stories can be vehicles for change and healing because they involve the listener or the reader in ways known only to him or her. We never know how the sharing of our stories may touch the lives of others.
One way to find meaning in the midst of our everyday life is through reading, telling or listening to the stories of others. Finding and sharing our personal story connects us with an intimate part of ourselves and mysteriously connects us with others and with our God.
I relate to the words of Sue Bender. Stories move in circles. They don’t go in straight lines. So it helps if you listen in circles. There are stories inside stories and stories between stories, and finding your way through them is as easy and as hard as finding your way home. And part of the finding is the getting lost. And when you’re lost, you start to look around and to listen.