We all have stories that need to be expressed.
Some of us dance our stories, others sing their stories or cook their stories or paint their stories or yogasize their stories. Me? I write my stories–mostly as poems, sometimes as blog posts, and now and then as an essay or memoir.
When we express our stories, our joy and pain, our questions and revelations, we release energy. We balance our minds and bodies, and as Carl Jung said, we “distinguish ourselves from the unconscious elements”. And this heals us. Our perspective widens. We begin to see why people who can’t merge on the freeway exasperate us. Or why why we reorganize the kitchen when we are stressed. Or why we hate making the bed. Or vacuuming. And instead of shaming ourselves, we say, “there there, lovey”, and we just send ourselves a little love and compassion.
When we express our stories, we also heal others. This is one reason why memoir has become so popular of late. There is an epidemic of loneliness; we are all seeking connection. And when we read Tarana Burke’s inspiring story of survival in “Unbound” or anything by Mary Karr and about her struggles with alcoholism and love and motherhood or watch “Ted Lasso” or make the chocolate buttermilk cake from Claire Saffitz’ best dessert cookbook ever written, “Dessert Person”, we feel a little less alone. And we realize we aren’t the only ones having a rough go of it. We realize that we are all just figuring it out as we go along. And maybe we gain some small piece of wisdom we can carry into our day. And maybe our families. And maybe on our drive home so we don’t scream at that driver who can’t merge on the freeway. Hope springs eternal!
In a recent interview, writer Anne Lamott was asked why we are here. She answered that, for herself and other writers, we are here to “share through words and paper and the spoken word what we make of it all. And we say to our audiences and readers just what the tribal storytellers did 3,000 years ago, hey you got a minute?”
What do you make of it all? Maybe you can find your audience and ask, “hey you got a minute?”