Humans tell stories..... it is how we learn best. By giving and receiving them. You share one with me, and I'll share one with you. They will take on a life of their own as they box and blend together.... as WE see and hear and feel the similar nuances. As we see and hear and feel the differences.
Between you and I.
Different cultures, promises, hopes and dreams.
To belong. To be loved. To be wanted and needed.
Stories let us learn empathy.
Stories thrive on emotional literacy.
WE learn and grow from the new seeds sown into our fabric and we are forever altered. The way I view my world changes every time I listen to a story and absorb its meaning. I t can't be avoided, especially if I allow it to pluck the chord inside. Do you know that chord? It flutters in song when it's plucked. When its pulled, a lightbulb comes on..... BLINK. awareness.
sometimes an aha! is uttered. Aha!
sometimes a sigh
or an angry outcry
or a laugh
or a wide eyed wow
or a knowing nod.... uhuh.... i know..... yup, I get it.
Common ground! Empathy.
Once a chord has been plucked, the lens we gaze through alters.
We tell stories which feed our thirst for learning. I share one with you. You share one with me. Nothing enhances life more than trusting someone enough to spill a bit of ourselves.... A story gift is a glimpse of what is hidden under your flesh.....it's a vulnerable act..... to open up our flesh .... to offer a glimpse.
The other day after I had been facilitating for about an hour with of a group of people struggling to get along, I asked them........ "What could I do to help you trust me?" A young woman in her late teens spoke first. She said. "I already trust you."
"Why? What did I do to earn your trust already?"
"You told us a story about yourself that you didn't have to share with us. You showed me that you are vulnerable too."
I was FLOORED! I didn't expect this answer so quickly! It was the one I was looking for. I thought I'd have to massage and to coach it out of the group. I responded........
"It's why I told you that story..........I wanted to give you a glimpse of who I am besides the Counsellor around here. I wanted you to see me as someone just like you so that perhaps you'd feel more comfortable sharing with one another. It's a vulnerable place to be... to dwell in. But, if we are ever going to find the peace and serenity, the only way to go as far as I can see, is to be open and willing to be vulnerable. Our stories are our gifts to each other. We learn from them. We learn from one another. They alter the lens we choose to see the world around us........... does anyone have a story you'd like to share? I bet we can all relate!"
By lunch time, layers of selves were peeled away. The setting had been set for new prism lenses to be installed. A shift had happened. The energy had changed. All because we took the risk of sharing stories. What a gift.