I love a good story. I’m always a little bit in trouble in the fall when all the new tv shows come out.
I like drama. And action. So when “Madam Secretary” and “Blue Bloods” and “Chicago Fire” come on, I want to watch them. Now, there are few new ones and they can draw me in, too. Jury trials, FBI intrigue, forensics. I try to limit my time in front of the tv, but with such good stories, I have to work to ration myself.
I’m a reader, too. And I like reading stories. Historical fiction, good novels (new and old), and non-fiction when it is written like a good story. A good book with a good story is a good way to spend a day.
I like to tell stories, too. And I have a lot of them! With five kids (all grown), 17 moves, a long marriage, jobs and churches and in-laws and siblings and travels, there is a lot of story material.
Stories have the potential to change lives.
That’s why the abbreviated version of my personal mission statement is to “tell my stories.”
There is a brilliant stage show in our town called the “That’s What She Said.” This is the fourth year it has been produced and, this year, I get to be one of the speakers! I’m honored and thoroughly psyched! It’s been a lot of work to get one of my stories (a core one, I believe) down to 7 minutes and memorized and stage ready. Thankfully, I’ve had tons of encouragement from the other lady speakers, and I appreciate having help to hone and edit from the founder/producer of That’s What She Said and the director of this year’s show.
I’ve attended the show once before and was struck by hearing other women’s stories. This year, seeing the process from the inside-out, I am struck again by the heart and soul of the women who are involved in this. We all have stories and these women see that taking the time to listen to one another’s stories is valuable beyond measure.
The phrase that connects with me at a deep level is “each woman’s story can be a window or a mirror to another women who hears it.”
How beautiful is that?
I wonder this afternoon how much it would change our perspective if we listened and told our own stories to each other instead of taking so much time forming opinions about people in the news who, undoubtedly, we have very little accurate information.
After the show this Saturday, when I am not spending my extra time memorizing my own stage-worthy story, I am going to intentionally seek out LISTENING to other women’s stories, even more than I already tend to do.
People love stories (just look at the evolution and success of Humans of New York). Your story can be a window for another woman to understand something she has not experienced. Or it might be a mirror, to give hope and connection to someone who thinks they are the only one who has a struggle you actually can relate to.
We are not going to be the answer to each other’s problems.
But we can surely come alongside and support and understand one another to give each other courage and compassion as we all face forward into the future by telling each other our stories.