The Power of Storytelling: Weaving Narratives

Life is bittersweet. Sometimes it flows like a beautiful dream, and at other times it grinds along heavily. You can find it hard to stay motivated if you think too much about why this is the case. This is where tapping into the power of storytelling helps. The kind story you create for yourself about who you are, and why you are living your life on your chosen path, often becomes a source of inspiration when times are tough. Storytelling can be used to help you insulate yourself against the ups and downs, and at the same time the narrative you choose becomes part of the fabric of your life.

The Power of Storytelling - Pensive Kelpie

The Power of Storytelling - The Kelpies

The Power of Storytelling - Detail of The Kelpies

The Power of Storytelling - The Kelpies Come To Life

The Power of Storytelling - The Kelpie Has His Eye On You

“Bow down your strong heads to taste the water

Stretch up your long necks to face the sun”

Kelpies by Jim Carruth

Storytelling Skills

The art of storytelling enters your life at an early age. It is a simple method adults use for explaining the world to a child. As you grow up, therefore, stories provide you with a framework for ideas. Within this you build your own identity, the identity of people you encounter, and also the narratives that link them all together. From your first beginnings, you find yourself searching for storylines to explain the things that happens to you. In addition, when you are young, and throughout your life, playing is an important part of mental development. Storytelling is a good tool for this. We need to experiment with our powers in this respect, and have fun with them, so we can make use of them later on.

Limitless Creation of Narrative

Human imagination is a magical facility. Your brain is capable of inventing limitless numbers of scenarios. Consequently, you can spin any occurrence in your life with an endless number of interpretations. Storytelling is an inexhaustible device for exploring as many of these as your mind, and your time, will allow. For this reason, you can use your ability to create narrative as a means of training yourself to analyse situations. In this way, you can teach yourself to unravel the most complicated circumstance, and make better sense of it.

Storytelling also comes into play to help you endure sad times. In order to survive painful experiences you, or people close to you, create comforting tales to help you make sense of what has happened, and provide hope for the future.

The Dark Side of Storytelling

There is a caveat regarding storytelling though. If you really want to make use of the power of storytelling as a mechanism for helping you through life, it is important that the stories you weave are grounded in reality. Wild, desire based fantasies can quickly become delusions, which can ultimately be harmful to your mental health. Your personal imagined histories have to be constructed with this in mind. In effect, you have to place them on the sweet spot where the line between fact and fiction is blurred. Like that, you can use them to fulfil their function, while at the same time, you can keep sight of the real world.

The Power of Storytelling

The greatest power of storytelling is its ability to transform. You can take any situation and overlay it with a wonderful idea. A positive force can grow like a phoenix out of the ashes of something adverse.

We are all storytellers at heart, as we go through life creating and living our own biography. Some of us enjoy hearing other people’s, and others love to tell their tale to anyone who will listen.

All photographs are of The Kelpies, by sculptor Andy Scott, and were taken by Ju Underwood at Helix Park, Falkirk, Scotland