Story Sage, Part Two

This week on the podcast, Dan continues his conversation with Cathy Loerzel, Executive Director, and Rachael Clinton, Assistant Director of Program Development and Admissions, continue their conversation about what it means to enter the stories of others with curiosity, attunement, and care. As we gear up for our new Story Sage online course, we’re inviting you to consider how you might develop the capacity to enter stories of harm and heartache for the sake of healing. Click here to be the first to know when we launch this new online course.

Dan: “We really want people to grow in a greater sense of what is involved, what it costs, and what it gains to be involved in meaningful conversations that go beyond the surface, beyond just empathy and advice.”

Rachael: “Attunement offers delight. It’s a way of saying ‘I see you, I actually care deeply about you, and I want to be with you, even if where you’re at is not good.’”

Cathy shares about a particular encounter with a woman at church who moved past social niceties to engage in something deeper and more lasting. That experience serves as a frame for the conversation as Rachael, Dan, and Cathy reflect on the importance of reading faces well, responding to what we see, and engaging in a way that expands awareness and helps make meaning.

Rachael: “When I can be with someone who sits in the questions I have with me, that feels so much more honoring—even if I have to deal with the terror of ‘You just really saw something of my heart.’ Now I feel exposed, but I also feel not so alone in this.”

They also return to the theme of containment from last week’s episode, reflecting on the importance not rushing or presuming that others want us engaging their stories. A posture of invitation, permission, and setting parameters allows room to breathe and settle in, offering the containment that is crucial when engaging stories of trauma and harm. And when that happens, when our stories are engaged with honor and delight, it is nothing left than a taste of the goodness of God.

Dan: “Conversations are meant to create a ground where we come to know one another, you come to know yourself, I come to know myself, but ultimately we come to know God better in our relationship.”

Next week, in the conclusion of this series, Dan, Rachael, and Cathy will continue unpacking these themes and will share more about the Story Sage online course, including the unique opportunity of stepping beyond themes and ideas into the particularities of one brave woman’s story.