Untold Stories

Untold Stories

Untold Stories

I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of stories and the loss that occurs when they go untold.

Have you ever had a moment where someone steps into your life and unexpectedly offers a bit of reflection or a snippet of their personal story just when you needed to hear it? It’s happened to me a handful of times – a few stand out specifically as having great impact on me. I felt a union or intention in these moments, something so strong it simply can’t be coincidence.

It’s been expressed many times that love, belonging, and connection are vital to our sense of purpose and a life of meaning.

I remember a time when I felt a strong nudge to reach out to someone, the only other single mama in my child’s classroom. I hadn’t even crossed paths or exchanged smiles with her more than once or twice. I still have no idea what brought me to act on this feeling. I introduced myself through an email and told her that I found some sense of comfort knowing that a classmate, that my child considered to be a friend, was familiar with a similar family change – the separation of a family. I prayed that she understood what I meant.

She was thrilled to connect and we planned to meet in person. I found myself full of unidentifiable nerves as I drove to meet her. Why? Perhaps I sensed that I was on the verge of an impactful and necessary connection. Our conversation took off immediately and lasted for hours. Our individual journeys mingled miles away and years apart from each other in days past, all leading up to the night I clicked send. We were finishing each other’s sentences. She “got” me. She got “it”. It was one of the fist moments I felt truly understood, not just loved, by those around me. I left that evening with an overwhelming sense of calm and comfort. The presence of her understanding somehow altered my scope of support. My net widened and gained strength.

I was recently chatting with another mama of a child’s friend. We’d exchanged many words in passing and play date drop-offs/pick-ups, but I didn’t know much about her personally, the stories that lead her where she is. She asked a question about my personal status and I stumbled around the words a bit, trying to figure out how to best summarize where I was and where I’m at, and my thoughts on “future”. I’m not yet fluent in that language. After a brief pause, she came right out and laid a piece of herself on the table. A big important piece that could not have been more relevant, fitting, and similar. She boldly offered these words in a succinct little package without any insecurity or fluffy qualifying backstory. She did this without an ounce of hesitation but a heaping serving of courage and comfort. Her experience and evolution answered questions that my mind sought to examine often, yet had no prior touch point to reference.

I’m not sure how the shiny ideals sneak their ways into our lives now and again creating an unrealistic filter to see the perfect parts of the lives around us, while exposing and accentuating the parts of us that we don’t feel fit the bill. It’s a continuous exercise of sending them packing shortly after they arrive.

Sharing our stories – the glory and the grime – is vital to completing the circle; the loop of connectivity that links us all in a series of varied, yet interwoven threads, each a potential shared experience, creating strength in the whole.

To share a story is like breaking off a little chunk of yourself to nourish another and sustain them for the journey forward. To remind them that they are not alone. To remind them that they are not flawed and that life is messy and mendable. To help pull their feet from the deep muck where they may be stuck in uncertainty. To increase the capacity of their breath. To shine a light on their path.

Perhaps experiences – good, bad, and ugly- are gifted to us and we are entrusted with extending them as they pass though our lives, keeping them alive and able to reach others that need the pulse of inspiration generated through their teachings.

Share your stories freely when called upon. Give of yourself and honor the gift of emerging from the other side.

J

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  1. […] To share a story is like breaking off a little chunk of you to nourish another and sustain them for the journey forward. To remind them that they are not alone. To remind them that they are not flawed, and that life is messy and mendable. To help pull their feet from the deep muck where they may be stuck in uncertainty. To increase the capacity of their breath. To shine a light on their path. To share a lightness or humor in the madness of Life. […]

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