100 Book Challenge, Non-fiction

Book #40: The Healing Power of Stories

Way back in January, I wrote a post about a book that I wanted to read.  It was called The Healing Power of Stories and was written by Daniel Taylor and I finally got my hands on a copy.  It was worth the wait as the used copy I bought on Amazon made its way to me.

Somewhere else I had heard that the concept of four types of stories had come from this author.  While reading it, I didn’t notice any specific description of whole, healing, broken and bent stories, but I could see where other people had taken his ideas and created these four categories.  I’ve since used this model in many different avenues where I have some voice and influence.

I like to keep these reviews short, but I will share a few of my favorite quotes to entice you into reading this well-written book on the power that stories have to help us discover our own life story and what part we play in it.

“You do not lose yourself in the best stories.  Rather, you find yourself—or at least a potential self.” pg. 47

“I am mind, body, spirit—intertwined in such a way that nothing can happen to one without somehow affecting the other two.  A merely sentimental story is not to be criticized because it appeals to the emotions, but because it appeals only to the emotions.  An idea is limited not because it is cerebral, but only if it is solely cerebral, ignoring the rest of what we are.” pg. 34

“The point is not to tell only Pollyanna tales about one’s beginnings.  It is to see tales of pain in the context of a larger whole.  We should marvel as much that pain coexists with and even stimulates good as we lament pain’s destructive consequences.  We ought not to allow our current obsession with finding something to blame for our discontent blind us to the life-enhancing possibilities that flicker in even the darkest stories.  If we do, the beginning of our story will be of little help to us as we contemplate its middle and end.” pg. 62

“Stories make connections.  They allow us to see our past, our present and our future as interrelated and purposeful…The stories need not be happy, but they must be meaningful.” pg. 85

“Listening is an ethical task.” pg. 119

Oh man, I’m just scratching the surface here.  To boil down this book to a few soundbites is such an injustice.  And as much as I like the four types of stories aspect of the book, what I found even more powerful was the concept that we each have a story and how much we need to find ourselves in it, connect to others’ stories, and to see how valuable every single person’s story is.  Inspiring and thought-provoking, this book is one of my new favorites.

Goodreads rating: 5 stars


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has written 287 articles on Red Hot Eyebrows.

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