Stories are acupuncture for the soul.
Before I unpack these six words, let’s acknowledge that not all stories work in this way. We’re referring specifically to what I call ‘sacred’ stories. The ones that go beyond a well structured narrative to touch something deeply human, a piece of the universal consciousness that lives in all of us. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, describes these stories as ones that cause ‘the teller to laugh or weep. . .to feel suddenly stabbed or invigorated with some odd fiery notion.”
There’s nothing wrong with the other type of stories, those that glide gleefully along the surface. But they aren’t the ones we’re talking about here.
Now, I’m not an acupuncturist by any means, but my understanding is that acupuncture works by stimulating energetic meridians or pathways located throughout the body. The practitioner examines the patient, listens to their concerns, then expertly inserts thin, finely wrought needles into the exact spots necessary to get stuck energy moving. The result can be profound releases of tension, emotion, and toxins from the body and a realignment of the body’s systems.
Well wrought stories function similarly for both the teller and the audience.