A redemptive story has nothing to do with a happily ever after story. The book challenges readers to first and foremost embrace the commitment to the act of telling the story of their lives. It is through the telling of a story that we discover the redemptive meaning within. I’m not asking people to find the silver lining of their lives; I’m asking them to discover the full truth about their lives, and that truth is almost always a pathway to generativity.
“What I got intrigued about, and probably for me was one of the big ahas and discoveries in writing the book, was how we can invite people to think of themselves as a character in their story, and they’re surrounded by other characters. How do we develop that observing self of that character?”
What do our stories have to do with change? Quite a lot, actually. Psychologists have found that if we aspire to change our lives, we do so by changing the story we are telling ourselves about them.
“May I get a picture of the two of us?” a young woman asked me at the close of a recent conference. “Of course!” I responded. “First, please tell me your name,” I asked. “I’m Jaleah,” she turned to me and said, “and I want you to know that you’ve opened my eyes so much to reflecting on my own story, because before coming to this conference I never thought I had a story… It was your willingness to share your own story that changed my perspective. It helped to think about how my story is relevant today, and what deeply, God is showing me.”
In our ministry as spiritual directors, we have the privilege of meeting with folks who are trying to make sense of and better understand how God is at work in midst of adversity, in those places they never expected to go…
While we can’t change the places we have gone, we can change the stories we tell ourselves about them. And yet, any story we tell, no matter how well told and truthful, is not the final story.
36. According to Jewish mystics, that’s the number of people it takes in every generation to keep the world from coming to an end. The mystics say there are 36 humble, righteous, and hidden persons whose exemplary willingness to serve others can save the world. And they call them Lamed Vav (lamed vav are the Hebrew letters for the numbers thirty and six). I believe there are far more than 36 Lamed Vav in our midst…
In her new book, “Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening and Leading with Purpose, Meaning and Joy,” leadership consultant and coach Diane M. Millis offers advice on how we can engage more deeply with our true selves, one another and the communities in which we live and work. In the following excerpt, she explains how to ask meaningful questions.
The divine presence in our midst yearns to be received and revealed. By honing our attention to all that we encounter through the lenses of our cameras, may we learn to see more of the persons and things we meet through the lenses of our hearts.
There is a profound relationship between intentional silence and our capacity to listen. When we get quiet -- really quiet -- we become more aware of all the noise around us, between us, and within us. Time in silence, both personal and collective, prepares our hearts for conversation. In particular, time in silence helps us grow to recognize and distinguish the still, small voice within us from all the other voices in our lives.