When I read this story from the Wall Street Journal ("It's Healthy to Put a Good Spin on Your Life"), I thought of the great Christian memoirists, writers like St. Augustine, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton. Before the confirmations of modern science, they intuited the importance of what this article reports.
“You can’t impact every event of your life,” says Jonathan Adler, lead researcher on the study and an assistant professor of psychology at Olin. “But you have a choice in how the narrative plays out. You tell the story and the story really matters.”
Personal narratives “keep us sane,” says Warren Kennaugh, a leading behavioral strategist based in Sydney, who works with clients on changing their narrative. “While we may not like them at times, they enable us to make sense of others and the roles we play.”Advertisement
I think another way of framing the issue is this: Can we see grace working through our lives? Can we adopt a stance of gratefulness to the possibilities our existence gives? When we turn our gaze toward our past, toward our shortcomings and failures, our triumphs and achievements, can we see providence hiding in the shadow?