I have always loved anything that involves a good story. Good books, good movies, good theater, and even – when I was much younger – good radio plays. Before you get any ideas, I am not ancient – these memories are from the 80s! I remember that there was a radio drama that came on about once a week about a chicken-man who would save people from things. I’m pretty sure it was a spoof on super hero comics, but it was awesome. The only thing that I really remember is when they would announce that the hero was on his way to someone in despair. The booming voice-over would say, “Chicken (pause) man! He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!”
We all have a story to tell…
While girls seem to have the market on the chatting, all of us have something to say. The fact that WordPress has 374,607 of blogs with over a million posts each day says that a lot of us have something to say. We seem to want to share our stories. And we should! Stories are what draw us closer to one another in deep and meaningful ways. When we open up to another person (or the world – thank you, blogosphere) with our story, we can connect on a different level than what we could before we shared.
When I found Story Street in Rockport, I was immediately challenged.
It seems that I am sharing my stories all the time through this blog. I write when I am sad. I write when I am happy. I write when I am angry. I write when I feel victorious. And I talk a lot (I am Italian…). But am I really sharing stories? Am I really and truly opening up and delving down beneath that shallow shelf of the “safe” stories? And should I go any deeper? Does my public sharing of my one-sided perspective of how my life has gone provide an accurate telling of any of the stories?
Sharing stories must be done with care.
My story may contain someone else’s story, and it may not be my place to tell that story. When that is true, I need to take a minute and consider before I just blurt it out to the world. This is how I attempt to move forward with my blog. I try very hard not to share something about someone else without having received permission. I did not do this when I shared about my own adoption. Even though it is a great story, it has a lot of other people’s stories in it. There is really no way to share that story without other stories being involved. I need to get better at this. After a year of blogging, I still struggle with this.
As I move forward, wanting to share my story, I need to keep all of this mind. I want to be authentic. I want to share my perspective with others. And I want to share what I have learned so that – maybe – others can skip the lesson and go right for “what I learned.”
But if my story crosses over into your story, I want to intentional about allowing you room to approve of my use of your story. I realize that it takes a bit of humility to ask someone’s permission before I post something. If I do not get that permission from you, please call me out and let me know that I have crossed a line.
Lastly, I want to encourage others to share their stories. Whether you start a blog and write every day like I have or not, your story is important. Finding a way to share your story is important. Others will connect with you, and you will feel blessed by their stories as well. Sometimes we just need to listen; other times, we need to share.
A friend and fellow blogger had series called So. Many. Stories. through which she hosted the stories of others. What a great concept! Without totally stealing her idea (I have credited her here!!), I have been considering doing something similar. To a certain extent, I have done this a few times when I have allowed others to share their thoughts via this blog. As I consider how I could do that more, I ask you to consider how you could share your story either in writing or in person with others.
We all have a story to tell…