What I discovered via David and my colleagues at the time, is that words are magical (and dangerous). I learned that young people cared a lot about how they describe their own lives, and that adults often miss the subtleties of what they are trying to communicate.
One of the metaphors that I was introduced to around this time was the "heart and the wall". It was a way of 'externalising' the problem, deliberately choosing who you allowed access to precious parts of yourself, and also ways to block those who might not have the best intentions for you. What I am still working through in my own mind is how you stay aware of what your wall might be doing (often without permission). The tricky bit is that sometimes certain people can see straight through your wall to your heart, and you may feel compelled to drop the wall completely for a range of reasons, but mostly because you may believe that there is no point pretending about what's behind a seemingly glass wall.
But, what if from the other side of the glass there are distortions of how it really is in there (the heart feels, tastes, and has a special aroma on the inside) and so trying to explain it in words never quite captures the complexities of what it's like to live in there. Sometimes it's beautiful and warm, and soft. Other times scary and cold (all the time knowing that it's very precious - life itself - soul stuff - dare I say , a bit spiritual even). So sometimes it's important to not attempt an explanation, but live the knowing with as much integrity as you can muster, even though it may appear altogether different from the other side of the wall.
We heard complex stories, did some practice at protecting hearts, and at the same time assessing who may be worthy of an inside tour (blood and all), and that even though not all will approve of the contents and attributes, it's really worth taking the risk to be known - the 'alternative story', my story.
Back to Amy and Pete. I will always love how they attempt to describe their hearts in words and beautiful music. I don't mind if their personal hearts might be a bit messy. I love their art, it triggers my need to sing, perform, and believe that beauty isn't always perfect ...little tiny feelings make a big difference
Sing with you soon
Footnote - "White and Epston base their therapy on the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. Therapy then becomes a process of storying or restorying the lives and experiences of these people. In this way narrative comes to play a central role in therapy. Both authors share delightful examples of a storied therapy that privileges a person’s lived experience, inviting a reflexive posture and encouraging a sense of authorship and reauthorship of one’s experiences and relationships in the telling and retelling of one’s story."