We all have stories. Our stories are precious gifts. A story teller takes a personal risk by sharing his or her personal story often to help a colleague, a child, or perhaps a struggling stranger.
Why do we share personal stories?
Many of us are motivated to share our stories when we realize someone is hurting. Sharing our personal true story or an allegory may give the listener hope, courage to move forward, a sense of solace. Stories can encourage trust in one another. A distraught friend, colleague or youngster can often be motivated by learning that someone else overcame a similar challenge or an even worse situation. “If they overcame a huge hurdle maybe I can too.”
Why do we have stories?
Stories come from memories. In my case, I think of my memories as being stored in a special place, archived in my heart. I learned some of my most important stories as a child. The longer I live, the more my heart’s library grows.
Those stories remind me how good most people are. If I am feeling slightly worn down, my stories bring me back to a time when I was a courageous young woman and the important lessons I learned that give me courage and faith that all things will work out. My sad stories remind me of the importance of taking time to grieve loss.
Trouble happens to all of us. My husband Larry used to say, “It came to pass. Let it pass right on through.”
Stories bring us together.
When we share our stories, we connect with one another. We begin to realize we have more alike than different. We learn from our differences and are reinforced by our similarities. In some cases, others’ stories evoke understanding and we realize our differences open new doors and ways of seeing and understanding. Stories evoke trust and a desire to reach out for support. Stories often offer potential solutions to challenges and encouragement. In the case of loss, sharing stories can remind someone who has lost a loved one that raw grief will subside over time and we will intuitively remember the wonderful memories.
Stories emphasize commonalities and diminishes our differences, weaving a tapestry of respect and friendship.
I encourage you, reach out and share your stories with one another. They are gifts. You may or may not know the impact you have made or the comfort and support your story telling has given someone. Your story telling is always an act of love grace and hope.
Next week I am going to share my simple format for story telling, beginning with these three key questions:
- What it was like?
- What happened?
- What’s it like now?