The Unpower of Words and Stories

by Shannon Fox

Bet you thought you’d never see a title like that from me, huh? 🙂

I’ve had a tough past few weeks. So tough that I can’t even be angry or upset because I literally feel like I’m being struck and buffeted from all sides and I have to keep moving to survive, like a swimmer in the ocean.

Of one thing I am sure: there is power in the telling of your troubles. Most conventional wisdom recommends unburdening your heart and not keeping your feelings bottles up inside. I believe in this, but lately I’ve been thinking there’s a bit more to it than that.

Think about what happens when you repeat a word over and over. Eventually, it loses its meaning and becomes a mere sound.

Think about words like ‘happy’, ‘sad’, or ‘mad’, words that are used so often they have hardly any meaning left to them.

When you repeat a story over and over, particularly a painful one, you give a piece of it away to each person you tell. If you’re hurting, you give away a bit of that pain. Maybe that sounds cruel to the other person, but it doesn’t hurt them. It makes you feel better because you’re shredding your pain and giving it away to others. In the same way you repeat words until they lose their meaning, you repeat a story until it loses its meaning.

So where does that leave writers, the storytellers?

I’m honestly not sure.

Perhaps it doesn’t work the same, because you create it yourself. The painful things that happen to us are often enacted upon us. The hurts and injustice of the world come from others and things outside our control.

Maybe that’s why the repetition of the stories we create grow in power, rather than decrease.

3 Responses to “The Unpower of Words and Stories”

  1. For Writers, every new Reader the Story is Renewed… And for those that Reread our Stories, than chances are, something within the story resonates with the Reader…

    Or, a Story can mean one thing at one time in our life, and read later, can mean something else… Because each Reader is always changing, but the Story remains the same… And in that way, it also represents Stability to those that have enjoyed it, and wish to return to it once again, just as they have left it.

    The only Consistency in Life, is Change.

    Stories however, like I say, stay the same… And thus can be relied upon, like the stars in the sky.

    Pain, is pain, is pain, is pain… There’s no way around it… We humans find Pain uncomfortable, which is one of the reasons that we tell, and retell the situations that are causing it.

    But we are not giving any of that pain away… We are but releasing the charge, or energy from it… Sharing it. And in that way, Pain changes Form within us, but like I say, it still remains.

    Funny that you should Post this, you might actually enjoy the Poem I just Wrote Today, which very much reminds me of what you are feeling

    It’s called “Dark River”

    For me, most of my Pain becomes Poetry… But talking about it helps sometimes too. But like I say, I don’t feel you’re giving it away, I feel you’re releasing the energy, or charge associated to it… And as time goes by, it changes, and becomes more bearable… It becomes, instead, a memory.

    All the Best Sweet Shannon


  2. Very thought-provoking post, Shannon. It reminds me of the fact that when I told (and tell) the story of my marriage dissolving, I have to include 3 little (but fundamental) words:”he left me.” It’s so important for people to know that I wasn’t the one who baled even if I am so happy the marriage ended and my life is legions better now than it was before.

    It makes me wonder, why do I cling to those words? That story? Hmmm.


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