The shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story. -Anthony de Mello
As I said in the previous post that we all have a story and it is what has made us into who we are today. We are a result of the collection of our experiences and there is a reason why each person is the way they are today. Each life is a collection of our stories and the more of them that we hear the more insight we gain. The telling of the story comes in two parts.
First the person needs to be willing to be vulnerable enough to tell their story. The person needs be open to allowing a person into their life and see that part of them. Some parts of the story and simple and easy to share with others. They are important also because they give people an insight into our background. Where you grew up, your memories as a child, and how many people were in your family tells a lot to someone. A person living in the country has very different experiences that a city dweller. An only child has a different perspective of things than someone who grew up with 12 siblings. But each of these provides a glimpse into the makeup of a person. Other aspects of our story may include shame, hurt, embarrassment, insecurities, failure, sickness and trauma and are hard for us to bring out to others. While some storied are difficult and personal and others are more entertaining and humorous both are important and speak to who we are.
The second part is equally important which is are we willing to listen to the stories that people want to tell us? Are we able to sit down and stay quiet as a person reveals important insight into their lives? Often we sit in judgment over people without really knowing them and listening to their story. We label people as jerks, mean, grouchy, selfish and on and on without understanding why they person is this way. Maybe if we listened to them we would turn our judgments into understanding. The person who is mean and grouchy may have experienced tremendous hurt in their life. They may have been reject by family and experienced abandonment. They may have been taken advantage of and had things taken from them. We may come to realized that if we had gone through those same trials we would probably be mean and grouchy as well.
Our stories are important to each of us and the deeper we go with them the deeper the connection we have with each other. We share our tears, joys, heartaches, pains, laughter, and experiences and create intimate bonds. When we tell people our stories, yes it is a risk, but it is also amazing the way both lives are transformed.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness. –Brene Brown