You may never have thought about your personal story as a gift, but it truly is. Author Donald Miller writes “People want to join a great story. If you want to lead, tell one with your life.” We all have a story that needs to be heard. This became very clear several years ago in a coffee shop while working as a community recovery liaison. My “job” was helping individuals post-disaster to build resiliency and offer spiritual/emotional support. Sitting across the table from a local resident, I made a personal discovery, beautiful things happen when we allow our stories to be shared in the midst of sacred space. Sacred space is the place we intentionally create through our mindfulness, compassionate presence and an unhurried demeanor. The conversation ended that day with the following words, “thank-you for the gift of your story, my life is richer because of it.”
Those words required time for reflection. How often had I missed other opportunities like this because of time constraints, an overloaded schedule or mental clutter? With any gift there must be a willingness to give and receive and far too often in the past my receptivity was hindered by my own selfishness. Each day we are presented moments in which our relationships deepen through the exchange of personal narrative. Life is too precious to miss these opportunities!
Rethinking life requires a fresh look at relationships. It requires courage to step out and share our story: the good, the bad and the ugly; and a choice to honor the need for others to speak. “You are your stories. You are the product of all the stories you have heard and lived, and many that you have never heard. They have shaped how you see yourself, the world, and your place in it…Stories link past, present, and future in a way that tells us where we have been (even before we were born), where we are, and where we could be going.” (Daniel Taylor-Tell Me a Story) Are you ready to invite someone into your story? Is there time and space for you to listen? Life will be richer if you do!