21. Heightened

Hearing a friend tell their version of a story from long ago is a powerful feeling. You are sitting around with people you have known for years. You were there. You know. You feel honoured to have been there all those years ago: there is a haunting familiarity of hearing a tale told from another’s perspective of what they/you did and how you all reacted.

Then it goes further. The tale is embellished with more actions following thoughts and feelings. After being involved in the story you realise that the story is not what you remember: their thoughts & feelings become the story. For you that’s not what happened. The thoughts and feelings are lost in the story teller’s perspective. You feel detached from the story that made you feel warm and fuzzy.

The motivation for this changing of the story is to heighten the retelling so it’s becomes more attractive or makes a point. The story is recognisable but it is heightened. As humans we are all into selling. Our story. Our perspective. Our meaning. Ourselves. The 21st Century is obsessed with the heightened. To compete with other heightened stories: our own have to be heightened to stand out above the crowd. Social media has created platforms for these heightened stories: along with the more traditional story telling, books, & movies. Public.
For good and not so good.

One to one peoples’ stories are mundane. Not to them or me: but they are rooted in the ordinary, the everyday. The gentleness, humility and quietness of people’s stories is nourishing. Personal. Private. A depth and solidity is revealed. They are heightened stories but in a different way. No competing versions. No argument. No threat. Only one truth – the truth of the teller without the heightened of selling.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2022
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This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique

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