The power of a story

There are days when I don’t feel good and it seems that cancer is getting the better of me.  On those days, I try to find a story to watch, read, or listen to that helps encourage me to get through the day.  Living with cancer is one of the hardest trials in my life to get used to.  So, when you meet others with cancer and get a chance to hear their story, you do so with hope and respect.  Just knowing that you are not alone on this adventure is comforting.  There are times when living with cancer becomes overwhelming.  Today I watched a short video on Netflix, “Cristina” and I found it comforting to know that she too wanted to hear stories from others that had her type of cancer.  It’s hard to comprehend something so simple at first.  Just hearing another person (besides a doctor) tell you that there is hope helps.

Have you ever sat down and started to watch something on TV and then suddenly realize that the program you are watching relates to you in some fashion or another?  Finding the power of a story is much like that.  So, in some ways it’s like it was meant to be, or it’s possible that life is full of coincident and some of us are pulled into believing that there is something greater out there that has already written our story for us.  In any case whether it’s within the eye of the beholder or divine intervention, when you find a story that you can relate to you will feel a connection.  Sometimes that connection is so strong that you will feel better about your situation or you may go as far as to argue with someone that doesn’t feel the same way.  As I sat there watching Cristina, I felt a connection with her during her struggle to find hope.  I felt the fear when she was struggling to find hope.  I felt the joy when she heard the voice of another person that has the same type of cancer as she does tell her that there is a chance.  Even though I have never met Cristina, I felt a connection with her in what you could say was her intimate struggle with cancer. (SPOILER– if you haven’t seen Cristina) After watching the video, I felt the joy of knowing that I am not alone in my struggle with cancer.  I also felt the fear and sadness knowing that her struggle, like so many others, ended in death.  A possibility that I face daily.

I have a lot to live for and I intend to do so.  Some of you have probably scrolled through the pictures on my Facebook account.  There are pictures of myself, family, and friends enjoying the outdoors; whether it is hiking through the woods, fishing, hunting, or checking out a monument or historical site.  I plan on taking more pictures like those in the future.  At times, I feel as though this fight with cancer is too much.  Then again, there are times when I feel like I am winning the battle.  There are so many things in my life that I want to accomplish or even witness others accomplish; so much so that I do not have the time to waste on fearing death.  If it happens, it happens.  We all must experience it one day.  I have faith that I will experience it a lot further down the road than sooner.

There is power in listening to others share their experiences and struggles that you too endure.  If there wasn’t any power in it, then things like support groups or A.A. would work.  I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t benefit from listening to another share their experiences with them on something that they are going through.  None of us are perfect, even though some of you believe that you are pretty damn close, so why wouldn’t we benefit from listening to others.  Maybe that’s part of what is troubling our society today, people simply don’t listen to others. That is for another time and post

Have you ever sat alone and wondered if what you are going through could have been avoided?  For the most part my friend, the answer should be “Yes”.  We all know someone that has experienced what we are going through, and they have given us their opinion or told us what they did.  They shared with us, but did we listen?  Unfortunately the answer is “No”.  So in the future, maybe we should actually listen to what they have to say.  We don’t have to agree with them or even strife to accomplish what they did or didn’t.  We should at least give them the benefit of doubt and think about what they said before making up our minds on what we are about to do, or at least consider what they said as we struggle to get through the same scenario.

Have you ever wondered why some movies mean more to others than they do to yourself?  I believe it is because they found something to relate to within the movie.  The same could go for a song or a book.  We all find something to relate to within subjects in our lives.  It is just one of the little things in life that actually define us as individuals.  Funny how that works isn’t it.  A subject that is experienced by millions is often found to be related to us on a personal level and we tend to use it as a definition of our character.  Would you agree?  Or am I just blowing smoke up your ass?  Stop and think about it.  What do you see me as?  What things in my life have influenced me?  Now take a look at your life.  Can you find anything that we share as a common defining trait?  I can, wait for it…..Facebook!  This is how most of you will come across this blog.  Not to mention, that most of us use Facebook to catch up on our friends lives.  We hardly visit with a friend in person anymore.  It is so much easier to use technology to communicate than it is to physically visit with friends and family, not to mention, but it is cheaper too.

So back to the topic at hand.  The power of a story.  A story has the power to change our lives, or to in the very least influence it.  Stories come in many different forms.  Some are words coming from the person next to you.  Some are from books, movies, poems, songs, or works of art.  No matter what form we find the story to be in, if it is a story that we can remember in the future; than it was a story that had some sort of power over us.  Believe it or not, the power of a story can influence people into doing heroic deeds or evil things.  The power in which a story has is not the same for everyone, which in a way gives it even more power.  OK this next part might piss some of you off, all I ask is that you think about it before yelling at me for it.  Take your bible (for those of you that have one) for instance, the stories that are within do not relate to everyone the same.  They were meant to relate to you personally, so there for the power of those stories is much greater when you can relate to them on a personal level.  Which in turn we use those stories to guide us through life.  We tend to believe in them, so much so that wars have been started and people have killed for their beliefs in such stories.  I hope that you can see my point.  All I’m getting at is that some stories have so much power over us that we are willing to change our lives, our character, our very existence once we believe in them.  The stories within the bible are meant to influence you in such a manner.  The stories that we read in fiction books do not have as much power, at least I don’t think so.  I could be wrong.  I am wrong about a lot of things…LOL!

So think about the power of a story as you go through life today.  Let me know if there is a story that has had any power in your life.  Toss this around in your head today, does your story have any influence in another person’s life?  A story is a very powerful thing, it has created religions, countries, and ways of life.  It has also been the influence behind the deaths of millions of people.  That power is ever changing as well.  It is a power that I don’t see as ever having a true ending.  So as some stories can bring joy to your heart, a tear to your eye, or simply entertain you for a short time, some stories can change your life.  Not all, but some.  Think about this, has there ever been a story that you were told, read, saw, or heard that influenced you so much that it is part of the reason you are where you are today?  Even the simplest story can change a person’s view of the world, which in turn, can change the world as we know it…

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One thought on “The power of a story”

  1. Kurth,
    I totally agree with what you are saying. I do remember sitting with my dad at the motel where a lot of the people stayed. They were being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas. This group of people formed a close bond with each other. In fact you can say they became family. I would sit and listen to them talk to each other about their treatments, fears, hopes, and about everything else you could talk about. They encouraged each other and cried together when one of them passed or got well enough to go home. In the end I felt so humble to be around such a group of people who never complained but found hope and strength in their battle with “the beast”
    I have been to church many a time when I have felt lost in a situation. It could have been how I was feeling about a certain person, how I was behaving or just lost in my life. I could swear the Gospel was written just for me, and as the priest spoke it was like God was talking directly to me. I guess what I am saying is I feel we can relate and connect to other people;s stories, movies, books, and Gospels. You are so right and I feel we need to start really listening to one another again. We need to talk more and not text, after all you can’t hear expression over a text. You can totally misread someones feeling in a text, but not if you are hearing their voice or looking in their face.
    Enough of all that, now I am so glad you are looking forward to doing the things you love and I pray you continue to fight with courage, strength and hope, You got this and hopefully you will be back in good old Wyoming soon.

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