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