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September/October 2007

Sharing Stories Through the Ages
Michael Krieger and Caroline Bixler

For as long as we can remember, people have been telling the stories of generations past.  From the age of hieroglyphics to this era of high definition recording, our souls have been nourished by revisiting the experiences of our ancestors.  Although the people we are hearing about may not be here in their physical bodies, they are with us and teaching us as their stories are told.

Why do we care about family stories?  Why do they touch us?  When family stories are shared, opportunities arise for making connections on many levels.  There is a deepening of the connection between the teller of the story and the listener.  At the same time, they both are reconnecting with the family member(s) in the story itself.  In this way, the story teller becomes more rooted in the past and the family lineage is extended into the future.  Roots are strengthened in the listener as well, and this person can now integrate and carry forward the gem from this sharing.

What about family stories that are difficult to hear?  Many families have stories of suffering due to racial or religious prejudice, political strife, or social upheaval.  Hearing these stories offers us stepping stones into the past so that we can feel the experiences of our elders and use the wisdom gained to better ourselves and our world.  We understand innately that our ancestors’ strength is in us - that we all draw from the same deep well.  We are fortunate to be far enough removed from the challenges they faced in their time on earth to have a clear perspective and to draw from their example and their strength.

There are some stories that are told with the purpose of shining light on a particular family aspect, positive or negative, which has existed over time and is evolving through the generations.  We can only know of our family’s evolution through hearing about past family members with whom we share these ways of being.  Each of us has the opportunity to bring forward and expand the positive aspects of our lineage, and to be a part of healing the wounds of our ancestry. 

There is a reason that we choose the stories that we tell. Each story has a pearl of wisdom to offer.  Whether that wisdom comes from hardship, success, laughter or tears, waves of connection are extending out over time.  With each telling, the storyteller and listener gain insight into their makeup and forge new bonds with their ancestors and with each other.  This creates an environment for healing the family and every healing has the potential to transform our world.

So the next time you’re at a family gathering, pay close attention to the gems being shared and feel free to share a few of your own.  The wisdom and healing of your family lineage will ripple out from that day forward.

Michael Krieger and Caroline Bixler are friends living in Southeast Michigan.  Combining their passions for videography and music, they are partners in Family Stories, a company that records family histories.  If you would like to contact Family Stories, call (248) 376-2943, or e-mail MAKrieger@aol.com

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