In my ’80s

Wednesday, July 19, 2018

A counselor in our area, dedicated to helping clients discover “Wholeness of the Sacred and the Everyday” includes, among many other rather strenuous intellectual and emotional exercises, a request to open one’s internal book to find “old narratives.” She intends, I think, a careful review of events and relationships that have become stories that have shaped our thoughts and emotions and will continue to do so if left alone.. 

Old narratives. The request puzzles me at first. I don’t have old narratives running on reels somewhere in my brain. Do I? 

One thing for sure. If I could find any — the longer I think about this, the more I suspect that there’s a cupboard of old narratives somewhere or other — I certainly wouldn’t divulge them. Unless they were positive narratives.  

Hmmm. Imagine an 80 year old still influenced by a narrative from teen years! How powerful a nasty narratives might be — forever and ever. Here comes one to my mind, not my narrative, but an honest to goodness narrative that I was told. A lad went to church with his family. One Sunday an adult man met the lad and said “My, you have big ears!” The lad, thirty years later, told me how that comment crushed him and how it played over and over in his mind, the whole way to addiction,  disillusionment and prison. 

So there I cited a big bold narrative in someone else’s experience. What about the narratives in my life?  After uncovering them, can I determine which have helped positively to construct who I am? Which have been destructive? How are they constructive? How are they destructive? 

The counselor mentioned above thinks that we can build strategies to surmount the undue influence of negative narratives. I hope to learn more.

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