We all have a story. You know, the narrative of you … your life, its twists and turns … the person you are inside, the person you want(ed) to be … the special, unique person that you are. Your story is something you naturally think about … a lot. Is this who I am? … is this the way I want my life to be? In some ways, our personal narratives are our most prized possessions … the one thing we hope will never be lost, even long after we are gone.
Everyone has a story. Each parent, sibling, friend, co-worker and stranger you meet has a story. When you see them in passing, you can be sure that some part of their mind is dwelling on their own personal narrative … whether it be the clothes they selected, the food they prepared or perhaps the job they are quitting or new place they are moving away to. Just like you and me, their own personal narrative matters.
Sure, you might know personal or genetic information about those close to you … but do you know their stories? Do you know how they came to be who they are? and who they want to be? Do you know how their parents shaped their view of themselves? What major experiences shaped their view of themselves? Do you know what they think is special about themselves? Do you know what they feel afraid of? what they think are their best and worst traits? Do you know their narrative?
Mind you … knowing a person’s story is not the same thing as knowing “them”. Knowing someone vs. knowing someone’s narrative can be two separate things … one being their story, and the other, your story (about who you perceive them to be). Do you know the inner story; the one that they tell to themselves, about who they are?
Think of the person you love the most in this world … the person you long to be closer and closer to … to share everything with. How well do you really know their inner story? Not “them” as you perceive them, but the way they perceive themselves. How well do they know your inner story? If you know their inner story, ask yourself if you feel motivated to help them develop into the person that they long to be. Do you? Do you think they wake up each day and try to help your inner story blossom? Do they protect and preserve your story so that it remains alive in the world?
We all have a story … an epic adventure … of love, fulfillment, loss and failure … with a beginning and an end. We are surrounded by a myriad of these epic tales everyday and one of the most humane and loving things you can do for another person is to just listen … listen to their story … let their voice be heard … and let them know their story is amazing and that you will never forget it.