Day 2550: Narrative

Because of the kind of narrator I am, I’m going to start today’s narrative with a definition of “narrative”.

NARRATIVE

noun
1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.
3. the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story:
“Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.”
4. a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis:
“to rewrite the prevailing narrative about masculinity”; “the narrative that our public schools are failing.”

Because I’m a psychotherapist who uses narrative therapy, I’m going to add to the narrative here with a description of that.

Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The therapist seeks to help the person co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy claims to be a social justice approach to therapeutic conversations, seeking to challenge dominant discourses that it claims shape people’s lives in destructive ways.

Yesterday, I noticed some self-destructive, outmoded, and fixed narratives, including

  • I am worthless.
  • I cannot trust anyone.
  • I am stuck forever.
  • I am weak.
  • If people knew the real me, they would reject me.
  • I am worthwhile only when I’m at my best.
  • People don’t want to listen to me.
  • Speaking up is dangerous.
  • Not speaking up is dangerous.
  • People who dislike me can ruin my life.
  • I am helpless.
  • If I ask for help, I won’t get it.
  • People, including me, are not capable of change.
  • There is no hope.

I always have hope that people can change their narratives.  After all, there are so many different ways to tell a story, even the story of your life.

Do my photos from yesterday create a narrative?

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The people at SoundBot are sharing the narrative, above, that every moment deserves a song. Here‘s a song — which intertwines lots of narratives — that I was listening to yesterday with my new SoundBot wireless musical earmuffs:

We all have a different, personal narrative of the events of September 11, 2001, but we all share elements of that painful narrative.

I look forward to the narratives in the comments, below.

I end every narrative here with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 2550: Narrative

  1. One picture tells the story that Michael has been cooking something up.

  2. You let people tell their stories very well, Ann, and then put in your own tale.

  3. I love how your narrative always includes laughter and joy. ❤

  4. Thank you for all that you share with us.

  5. A friend of mine frequently says he’s worthless. Normally I believe in letting others write their own narratives but whenever the narrative is negative, such as in his case, I believe in highlighting the positive. He is talented, creative, funny, and smart.
    I wonder what he would say about me but, of course, it would be presumptuous to write another’s narrative about me.

    • I assume that people tell the same story about you, Chris — that you are talented, creative, funny, smart, and very important to them. Thanks for all the stories you tell here.

  6. I value your daily narrative and the subtle therapy it often provides.

  7. puella33

    Yesterdays photos narrate that you are an organized, person who is optimistic, grateful, and has a sense of humor.

  8. Just dropped by to say Hi
    I will not give you a narrate

  9. The Daily Bitch cards are a highlight of your posts, Ann. They provide a narrative that promotes a chuckle. Good stuff! 🙂

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