Being Brave – Telling our Stories – A Prelude
I believe our stories have the ability to connect us, to make us feel that we are not alone, and to heal us. There is healing in our stories. Knowing that you are not the only one who has felt the way you do, or has gone through the things you are going through – that is the medicine we all need.
Storytelling and story hearing are important tools. When we tell our stories over and over again, we become attached to the story, in a sense we become one with the story. However, when we hear our own stories, or something like our own story, from outside ourselves, then we break that cycle. The stories become just that. A story. Outside yourself. No longer breaking your insides. This is why when we hear others stories, and hear our own stories within them, we sit up and take notice. We nod our heads, and often have a huge sense of relief. This is why I will tell my story.
I believe what I have to say will be important -for someone out there. Actually, I know it is important. I have done the research and read the statistics: I know I will strike a chord. It may even save a real life, and living body that goes with it. (My opinion: No one can save their changing metaphorical life – I though I made that clear in a previous blog. Your life is going to die again and again – and you are going to have to recreate it again and again.) Maybe it will just ease some pain, either way – that is what I am after.
We all need connection and normalization. It has saved my life, well…at least my sanity! When I hear someone else’s stories, I feel better. I think: “Oh! I feel that way,” “I felt that way,” “I thought I was the only one in this situation,” “I thought I was crazy!” Whenever this happens for me, I also have a healing that comes with knowing I am not alone. If you made it through, I can.
I want to be brave and tell you what is falling apart. But to be honest, I am still scared. Almost too, scared. Almost.
To actually say what I am going through – out loud – is terrifying. This from the woman who will jump on crocodiles in the dark of the night in foreign continents, capture wild red wolves with a net, hike the Appalachian Trail alone, drink almost any strange beverage, and jump into almost frozen lakes on every continent!
But, but…. What if I change my mind. What if people who I still want to like and respect me, decide that they don’t like or respect my choices? What if I let slip the secret that life is not perfect? That jobs or careers are not perfect? That other people are not perfect?
Not only am I not perfect, but now the whole world is subject to inspection. That is a terrible, terrible thing to do to everyone else, with their perfectly built facades of lives, relationships, careers, health, etc. I dread the feed back. What if I crush your dreams? What if you will no longer love/respect/hire/talk to me, because I told you that it is an imperfect world and I am not happy right now?
I know, those fears seem stupid. I know we all have imperfect lives. I know we all need to be fed stories of others losses, failures, stumbles, and humanity. I know it’s medicine to give and medicine to hear.
As I gear up to be honest with my transitions and struggles, I allow myself the space to prevaricate. (I love that word! It is so uncommon that I get to use it! Definition included below.)
With that as a prelude, I will talk about Sweet Potatoes next week. Then there may be some Jackfruit. Then I will talk to you. Then I will tell you some Stories. I hope you will be better for them.
Prevaricate – pri-var-i-keyt – verb. To speak or act in an elusive way. Synonyms: Equivocate, to be evasive, beat around the bush, to shilly-shally, (now isn’t that a nice term!), to dodge the issue, to sidestep the issue, to waffle. Example “She seemed to prevaricate when asked pointed questions about what she is talking about.”
by Tama Cathers