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THE HEALING POWER OF STORYTELLING

The act of storytelling can connect the speaker and the listener heart to heart and soul to soul, helping the healing process.

Using the Power of Storytelling to Heal

by Jayita Bhattacharjee

Too often, we wear a smiling sadness outside, while the world knows nothing about it. As we seek solace to find a way back to ourselves, we run from place to place. Let’s take a moment to stop running, to stop wandering, and come back to the beauty of words, the words that arise from the heart. As the seasons of life take us to some of the brutal battles that we once faced and fought, not every battle fought is won. Some are lost. Some leave us crumbled for decades. The call comes to rising, as “the years are still left to live”–whispers the words rising from the heart.

As we live in the faster lanes of life, and at times, wonder—have we lost the spirit of living in the real sense of the word, there we search for the feeling that is lost, has died probably years back in the relentless racing, chasing, purchasing, competing and finally heaving a sigh of relief—that we are living life. Having that illusory feeling, in silence, we often go back to a place where we know something’s still missing. Moreover, this knowledge comes from a feeling of a consuming void. So, what we think, relieved us once, finally put us in a cycle of devastating emptiness. One that ultimately comes to chase us till the very end. Moreover, then begins our search. As we continue to search, there comes the healing power of telling our story, owning up to it, and admitting, it is ours, to begin.

As the words fall of our souls, and we tell our story heard and witnessed by others, we feel heard and felt. All along, while we kept the song unsung, the words unsaid, suddenly they release in the air. Moreover, as the world hears it, a calmness descends on us. It becomes a moment of silent recognition where words said by a heart are words received by another heart. That is the moment of a silent honor.

Where something gave is taken with grace and thankfulness. To Us, it becomes a moment of healing. That silent hearing by others gives us joy beyond words. It becomes a moment when the God in you recognizes God in me. We know deep down, we have felt each other, we have heard one another in a moment of storytelling. It then becomes an act of beauty.

We become the powerful storytellers, where we become the unfolding narratives that speak of our journey. How we walked the path of life in the past, how we struggled in the troubled times—as we give voice to the unvoiced events and encounters of life, we begin to calm ourselves. As we know with every word that is released in the air, there is a heart out there in the universe that is hearing it, feeling the pain and joy, receiving it with the deepest acceptance. From there rises the gradual healing power of our storytelling. We no longer wind up feeling lonely, and out of touch with our mission.

We get anchored inside. The more we tell the story of every season that touched our lives, the deeper becomes the rooting. Eventually, we become beautifully rooted in love, joy, hope, and faith. The very faith that we lost being unheard and staying unsaid now fades away. We know, the universe is hearing us. It is a beautiful feeling, one that shows the gold of light after the rain has stopped drizzling. The dense sadness, the thick feelings that once curled up in our throats, every time, we looked back—now begin to cease.

Loveliness spreads all over our hearts. We become unburdened. As our history comes out of our lips, we heave a sigh of relief. The words break every agony into pieces, and there goes the savage smashing of all the past pain. Beauty begins to steal our hearts again. Such is the way; healing descends drip by drip as our story releases word by word. So effortlessly, abundance knocks our lives again.

Every time someone hears our story, our stress goes down. The stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine are flipped off, and the relaxation takes over that releases healing hormones like oxytocin. How gently we are calmed down, skipping off the stress simply by releasing words in the air. As our hearts whisper from the deepest pain, the moment they rise in the universe, a calmness descends over the heart and soul.

We know we are no longer trapped in the past. We are free, tasting freedom at last. Words kill the agony; they carry an invisible power that can be felt. The heart which feels compelled to tell the story is a heart on a journey to heal with the light of its own words. Every word unfolds with a new light and how beautifully the fog clears at last. As we give voice to the heartbreaking phases of life, it leads to the groundbreaking way of healing. What once almost killed us, now finds a way to honor pain in a dignified way. We do not run; we do not escape rather we walk through it in the sheltering embrace of words. They become our faithful companion in this journey of storytelling giving us gifted healing at the very end.

It relaxes our nervous system and repairs us from the inside. We know, deep down it turns on the body’s self-repair mechanisms, so at least we can cling on to this method as preventative medicine. As the story is heard, we feel that we are not alone. Someone who is hearing the story is with us. So, we feel connected, as loneliness sees its way out. It brings a feeling of connection, taking away isolation. As we tell the story, we become vulnerable and present ourselves out in the open, holding nothing back. We let the world see us in our raw and authentic beauty. From that place of authenticity, rises our deepest story—the story set out to heal us. How beautiful is this portal of storytelling falling from the lips of us? They travel from our lips to someone’s hearts and eventually back to our hearts as healing us, at the end