Growing older is disconcerting. Telling our story can be an act of courage!
At 71, I have often found myself explaining to someone that I used to publish a tourism magazine in our community, actually I published it for ten years, only to feel utterly diminished to learn that they have no idea what I’m talking about. I only quit eight years ago! It’s difficult to explain this feeling. Your friends and family will nod their head and tell you that it’s okay. But it doesn’t feel okay. We want our stories to matter – we want our lives to matter.
Today I read three stories that reminded me how beautiful sharing a story can be. First I read Zana Hart’s, The Hippie Who Lived in a Bus. It made me smile. It also tickled my brain into remembering days gone by. It caused me to want to know a wee bit more about Zana!
The next piece I read was Lynda Davis’s post, My Chance Meeting with Gladys. As I read of her brief meeting, I thought about all the chance meetings in my life. I felt warmed and lucky for those experiences. I’m so very glad Lynda shared this story.
The third post I read was Del Williams, Choosing Peace Over Happiness. A short post with a life-sized message! Again, I am reminded that our stories matter. Her poignant story clearly reminds us of how illusory the action of ‘being happy’ can be compared to the subtle, yet strong, decision to seek ‘peace.’
In these short posts, I am encouraged. I’m encouraged to not only share my story that it might carry a brief message of value, but to also listen to others’ stories for the memories they jog in my own mind and heart. I think of friends in nursing homes who have stories to share – who ARE stories! I’m reminded that I need to take time to listen to them and to share in their storytelling.
Stories make us visible! Stories connect us! Stories entertain, teach, encourage, inspire. And yes, stories stir a response: laughter, tears, sadness, thoughtfulness, loneliness and compassion. Through stories we can touch one another. When stories work, for a moment the teller and the listener share the same path. Keep telling your stories!