Releasing Light in Dark Times Through Storytelling


Juliet Bruce | all things healing

“I saw an angel in the stone and I carved until I set him free.” 
No one since Michelangelo has more aptly or succinctly told the story of creative process. In one sentence, the sculptor describes its stages: encounter with raw material, receptive attention to the point of love, trusting that inner presence through the not-knowing-for-sure time, illumination, patient and committed toil, and finally manifestation in the concrete world. 
So too with life. Whether we are trying to nourish the inherent strengths of a troubled young person, find deeper love in a conflicted relationship, rebuild our life after loss, create common ground between adversaries, or express ourselves in a fresh way, there is no system, structure, or formula more powerful than creative process. 
In his book Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process, Dr. Lewis Mehl-Medrona shares a Pasqua Yaqui native American tale from the southwest about an old man who owned light, but kept it hidden in a box within a box deeply buried inside his house. He was afraid that if it was released, he would discover that his daughter, who lived with him, was ugly. Mehl-Madrona writes, “You've probably seen the same thing I have, where people are so afraid of what could happen that they hide their gifts and capabilities from themselves and each other” (p. 59). 
Through a messy series of mishaps instigated by the trickster Raven, the light is eventually freed from the box, only to be dropped by Raven in his escape, shattering into millions of tiny fragments. The pieces of light hit the ground and bounce back into the sky, where they appear as the moon and stars. Raven gathers together the remaining fragments, shapes them into a ball, and carries the throbbing orb high into the sky. It shines every day as the sun, making life possible on earth. 
Once the world becomes visible, the old man sees that his daughter is beautiful. There had been no reason to hide the light in the first place. 
Are we not in many ways like that old man? So afraid of finding out we're not good enough that we hide who we are in boxes within boxes? Yet what the world needs more than anything in these traumatic times is for us to be exactly who we are: imperfect, vulnerable, but fully alive and radiating our life force—the luminous heart at the center of all living things. 
One way to do that is to carve away the masks and walls we erect to protect our inner selves from pain, which we learn to do very early in childhood. To shape the fragments of images, echoes, and moments into our story—the  deep soul story that carries our passion and our purpose for being here. To release Soul into our yearning world. 
Working in the metaphors of story, we relearn what we have always intuitively known: that the processes of growth, healing, and transformation mean asking not “How can I fix or change this problem?” but rather, “What wants to emerge right here and now from these circumstances and from this person that I am?” 
Like rocks obstructing the flow of water, obstacles in our own lives slow us down, ask us to pay close attention, look for the meaning of experience in our interior world, and ask ourselves, “How can I set the angel free?” 
Find the Story of Now 
Thinking now as artist, storyteller, and sculptor, ask yourself in the third person: 

1. What time is it in your life, in the life of your family, your community, the world? Find a metaphor to describe your intuitive sense of time. 

2. What's the external environment? And what's the mood? Landscapes and built environments mirror something important about the people who live and work there. The overall atmosphere reflects the deeper emotional context. 
3. Who's there? What do they yearn for more than anything? What do they resist with all their might? What private stories do they carry that may be colliding when they interact? 
4. What's a healing story plot line you can carve out of these fragments? Remember, healing story has a basic structure of crisis, struggle, unexpected and marvelous help, and transformation. 

Read the rest of the article…

Tags: , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
How to heal through story. Working in the metaphors of story, we go through a processes of growth, healing, and transformation.
Send this to a friend