Stories are powerful because they can make friends out of our enemies, and that is the only way to make fewer enemies in this world.
But here is something very important to remember about power: Power, no matter, whether it is a knife in your hand or a story in your heart, power can always be used to heal or to harm. It can always do both. And honestly the healing is more difficult. Creating is much harder than destroying. It takes your imagination, your toil, your practice, your whole heart. And destroying only takes a word sometimes.
A knife can be used to serve you a meal or to cut you open. It takes far less time to cut than to make a meal. A story can make friends of your enemies, sure, but it is extremely difficult. You have to give it your time and your attention. You have to listen.
After all, the first stories you tell, the closest ones to your heart, the ones that you repeat the most often are about you. And those stories can heal the wounds of your heart, or they can cut you more and more until you are an enemy of yourself.
Listen when you tell yourself a story. Try to stand outside of yourself for a moment and listen to how the storyteller is treating you. Would you ever let someone tell that story about a friend, or someone else that you love?
Be watchful of the stories that you tell yourself, and don’t tell yourself the cruel ones—the ones that make you numb to your own troubles or that make you a monster to be around.
~ Daniel Nayeri, Covenant College Chapel, 3/20/23.
I love everything about this. Daniel is a gift. I actually just wrote an article about books and friendship, and now I'm wishing I had read these thoughts first. They add new depth. Thank you for sharing!