We’re all somebody from somewhere.
We all have a story to tell. Some are big. Some are small. Some make us laugh until we cry while others simply bring us to tears. Our voices carry our memories and experiences; each word is a note which creates the melody that becomes the symphony of our lives. Like an old song that rekindles emotions buried deep, truth resonates in our bones when someone opens up to share a piece of themselves. We can hear a distant but familiar echo as we listen to their journey. Something in us recognizes our own strengths and vulnerabilities when we allow others to share their truths. Our stories hold power. This is something our ancestors knew well. They passed their knowledge and wisdom down through tales told by firelight, word by word, weaving a tapestry for generations to come. It’s a sacred tradition, yearning for resurrection. Our heritage is hidden beneath our tongues, longing to be set free.
The legacy of storytelling goes far beyond the individual. Life itself is a web of stories, woven together, which formed our past and shapes our collective future. It is when we share our stories, with open minds and hearts, coming together in celebration of our differences, that we allow ourselves to learn and grow. It offers an opportunity to admit our ignorance while also expressing an eagerness to know more and do better. We release the need to dominate the conversation, vying to get our point across and, instead, we step back to allow those whose voices are but a whisper to come closer and be heard. We begin to recognize that each story has a place and a purpose; each story holds value and import to the combined narrative of humanity. Sharing our stories opens the door to deeper understanding.
Somewhere along our journey we lost our willingness to be open. We stopped really seeing and hearing one another. We stopped connecting to this unifying energy. We have disregarded the power our stories hold to unite or divide us, forgetting how they can inspire and lift us up or instill fear and tear us down. We set aside one of the greatest tools we have to heal our current division.
I believe we’ve become so deeply wrapped up in our own plot lines that we forgot we share the stage with many others and, while we can recite all that we bring to the table, we absentmindedly forget to invite others to the feast. Our personal narratives take over and warp how we perceive the world around us. When we stopped sharing our stories, we cut ourselves off from a collective understanding. We limit what we share to the detriment of our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those with whom we share this planet.
We need to rediscover our collective lineage by taking the time to understand one another’s stories. As a whole, we spend far too much time jockeying for attention and social position instead of establishing common ground where everyone gets a chance to be seen, heard, and better understood. We miss the magnum opus of humanity because we’re too busy listening to the white noise in our own heads. Recapturing the connection we share, through allowing one another to lay bare our stories, could be what saves us. To quote Steven Tyler, “There’s a thousand stories between me and you,” and like so many things in life, it’s what we choose to do with our stories that makes all the difference.
So, take a step back. Try and take a moment to pause the tape in your head that plays your story over and over and over so you can hear the stories of other people. No matter what differences we can see on the outside, we’re all somebody from somewhere and we all deserve a chance to share what makes us who we are. I imagine we can learn a lot from one another.
(Originally published with The Urban Howl, 08/31/2017) http://theurbanhowl.com/2017/08/31/stories-tanya-tiger/