September 21, 2008

Discovering Our Personal Stories

I've just begun reading a book called Firstlight by Sue Monk Kidd. You may know her as the author of The Secret Life of Bees, but she's also a long time contributor to the spiritual magazine Guideposts. This book is a collection of essays she's written throughout her career, but I wanted to share something she wrote in the first chapter.

"Discovering our personal stories is a spiritual quest. Without such stories we cannot be fully human, for without them we are unable to articulate or even understand our deepest experiences. Many of us left the storied approach to life at our nursery windows and crossed the threshold into adulthood to more logical, didactic ways of making sense of the world. In a culture that is rational, scientific, and abstract we have lost touch with the intuitive, imaginative, and concrete dimensions that inform story. And as the church has made theology and doctrine the core of our religious expression, we have become unstoried in the spiritual life as well. We have lost the ability to probe the soul, to know and refine its experiences."

What she wrote really resonated with me, as I am not a rational or scientific person although our culture may be. I loved the correlation between intuition, imagination (and dare I also say emotion) and the way that children hear and understand stories. And as I read this I wondered if part of my desire to keep this blog and to become intentional about the stories in my own life is a spiritual quest too. Instead of identifying ourselves by the things we do or accomplish, what if we were only identified by our personal stories?

What's your story?

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