When I think about what I write, I endeavour to keep a balance between what serves me and what serves others. How can I ensure that I am writing in a way that captures the (my) stories in a way that is meaningful for others in a way that enlivens the work we are all doing? I feel like I need a lot more practice eliciting stories. I can’t wait to spend more time with Michael Margolis.
Why is story so powerful?
That’s probably one of the most rhetorical questions ever asked.
Answer: it’s just because it is — and the fact of language alone is the reason that it is — the communication mechanism we share that transmits our shared experience. Perhaps more so than the sharing of knowledge — and in a way it’s one of the only chances we have, without overtly intentional practice, to tap into the collective intelligence of the group or community.
How many times have you read something, or heard a story and thought ‘wow she is talking about me’ or ‘yea totally — I completely understand what you are saying’ or even ‘ YES! You put into words what I’ve been sensing without being able to elucidate.’ That sense of connection, and when it’s great, it can tap into the stream of our collective conscious (if you believe, as I do, that exists) or at least our shared experience. I think it’s part of our social agreement — to share our stories — and not only for ourselves, but for each other.
And not even from a posture of needing or wanting to share our thoughts and experiences with heretofore unknowns (our not yet enlightened audience!), but just for US. The whole ‘heretofore unknowns’ piece is a bonus, because our stories by default elicit additional stories of common (if not shared) experience, that can build on and give examples of and context for what is possible in a world where everyone’s experience is witnessed.
And the essence of connection: to be witnessed.
The invitation: tell your story.
Be witnessed, as an individual, and as part of whatever this emerging collective of storytellers is on any particular day. Be witnessed by the emerging collective of those of us who ache to be your witness. Be witnessed by the heretofore unknowns who are straining to hear what you have to say.
The container is ready — let’s hold it tight — and fill it up.
This is a story of invitation, and invocation.
We know it’s not always easy, to share that quiet shy part that fears judgement.
Our social contract is strong enough to hold fear at arms length.