Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sharing our pain

I continue to work through Richard Wagamese's book "One Story. One Song".  The essay is called "Families" and the end particularly struck me

"When there's pain in our lives, we tend to believe that we're the only ones.  Often we keep that pain to ourselves out of embarrassment of shame.  But when we do that, we put ourselves out of the reach of those who might help us."

This really struck me, because as a teen I remember coming home from church and feeling confused about how people's stories were so compartmentalized and that this lead to lost opportunities to share and support each other efficiently.  They would talk about the women who had breast cancer and the things we would do for them, then group X and group Y and it lost the underlying themes of loss and pain that bring us together.  Those people became their affliction and not people in pain. I think it made us less sympathetic.  I have not had affliction X.  I can be cold and clinical about their problem.  But talk about loss or pain.  I know those.

Sharing our stories is important.  It helps us put things in context.  It lets us know that we are not alone.  It shows others that we survive.  It gives us spaces to help others and share what we learnt.  It can be raw vulnerability and that can be scary.  But that is what makes us human.  What is your story?

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