ON WHY WE TELL STORIES

“Part of..suffering is that [you] can’t articulate it. Pain is resistant to language; it can reduce us to a stage before language – to the confusion and anguish, the cries we had before we had words. Karen Blixen said, ‘All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.’ But what if a person can’t tell a story about his sorrows? Experience has taught me that there are stories that we never found a way to voice, because no one helped us to find the words. When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us – we dream these stories, we develop symptoms we don’t understand… 

“We will probably never know what’s the point, but we can find meaning, and ourselves, through speaking and listening. We are born into a world of feelings and words; we become who we are by sharing our stories. We need others to help s make sense of ourselves. From our first words to our last, we’re story-tellers, but we can’t be story-tellers alone – we need someone to listen.” 

– Stephen Grosz

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