Tenet 6: Who is telling the story?

by Pam England

6. There is not just one storyteller within each of us. Depending on what’s motivating the storytelling, and who the story-listener is, one of several parts of ourselves (archetypes) tells the story from a unique perspective.

Sometimes as a birth story unfolds, a metaphor from Shakespeare reminds me that “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”1 I imagine a cast of archetypes within the storyteller coming on stage to tell their part of the narration. The cast includes Mother, Patient, Innocent, Victim, Judge, Orphan, Caretaker, Father, Huntress, Activist, Fool, among others. 

Three or more archetypes will likely show up to tell different parts of the story—each voice seeking its resolution or answers. For example, the Judge may be unrelenting in self-blame. The Orphan tells the story of feeling unsupported or unworthy. The Patient archetype recounts the medical account and decision-making, and so on.

Also, consider what is motivating the storyteller to disclose their experience, i.e., what response, feedback, or connection does she seek? For example, it might be empathy or emotional connection, clarity through information; or peace of mind. Whatever it is will influence how the story is told, which parts tell it, and which story-listener is chosen.

 William Shakespeare, “As You Like It,” Act 2 Scene 7.

copyright©2023 Pam England. All rights reserved.

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