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Finding Our Story

We all have a story to tell.  It may be a short, sweet, simple story, an intricately woven esoteric story, or a fierce and volatile drama that plays out in the midst of mind numbing chaos. Nonetheless, it is our story and to truly live I believe we must tell it. Our journeys are powerful lessons for kindred spirits who are longing for a connection, or understanding, or compassion.  If we keep our story to ourselves, it will die and a thing of value will be lost.

Telling our story does not require us to be writers or speakers.  There are as many ways to tell our stories as there are people, but first we must find it. Then we can grab it by the tail and dance with it, allowing it to create us and us it.

Our stories come from the deepest yearnings of our hearts and souls ~ those rumblings and urgings that have yanked and pulled and pushed us through life even as we tried to ignore them. They are not the noises of our parent’s commands that may still meander through our conscious or unconscious thoughts ~ those are the echoes of their stories left untold that still reverberate in their offspring.  Our stories are unique to us, but they may likely rest beneath a protective shield, carefully held in place through years of denial. Now it is time to remove the cloak that hides our truth and discover its power.

I turned away from the telling of my story much of my life. I was taught not to value it, share or even recognize it by parents, teachers, and a society that valued different things. Consequently I shoved it out of sight and wandered aimlessly as I tried to live everyone else’s story.  There came a time when I could no longer push it aside. I could no longer find a reason to make the dictates of others more important than my own. I would tell my story or I knew I would wither and die. It took time to even begin to recognize its shape and texture and each day I choose to share it, it becomes more vivid.

Find your story by listening to any voice that you know is truly your own. Heed its advice, even if it is not clearly defined. Follow your inner directives whenever possible and you will chip away at the layer of protection that may be keeping it hidden. The still small voice that speaks to you in quiet moments, the intense passion evoked by a favorite song or a thing of beauty, these are the things that will lead you home.

When you discover a truth, write it down, even if it is only one or two words. These are building blocks for the  magnificent structure you will create.  If you can’t name it, draw a picture of it, sing a song about it, dance it. Let the creative director of your story shape it for you. Then, share your truth in any way that makes sense. The sharing is what will bring it to life.

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11 Responses to Finding Our Story

  1. Annie on July 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    What a wonderful thought. I like being able to express it in different ways other than words. I do find that when you write something down it becomes real. Maybe that is also true with art and music.

  2. earthnskystudio on July 8, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Another truth-bearing post, Dorothy. I love what you say at the end….”The sharing is what will bring it to life.” That’s beautiful! Thank you! Blessings to you today.

  3. stylecrone on July 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    How true! Sharing my story has brought support from around the globe. Also, I find that expressing myself with art is a nonverbal way to reflect my internal process at a deeper level.

    • Dorothy Sander on July 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      Absolutely! I wish I was an artist because there are some things words just can’t convey. I’ve always thought the perfect combination is words, music and art brought together in some perfect whole. But we each do our bit and perhaps that is enough. Beauty is a shared venture and our stories are not complete without all the players! D

  4. Annie Nowlin on July 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

    “I turned away from the telling of my story much of my life. I was taught not to value it,”

    I wasn’t taught not to value it, but because of circumstances, I didn’t uncover the natural curiosity that each child or adolescent has. Now, unfortunately, it’s too late to pursue what I’d really like to have done. So, I rue those circumstances, but am careful not to let them have the power over me that they once did.

    • Dorothy Sander on July 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      There are all manner of ways in which we can pursue the things we were meant to pursue. Sometimes our original plans go awry. It is then that we much become ingenious and figure out how to fashion some variation on a theme! I know my life didn’t go at all according to plan and now years later I struggle to find a way not to feel it has been wasted. Even a brief period of time doing what we love to do is better than no time! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. DS

  5. patriciasands on July 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Lovely post Dorothy and so true. Everyone has a story and should be encouraged to tell it. Thanks for sharing yours.

    • Dorothy Sander on July 15, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Patricia! and taking the time to leave a comment. It means a lot to me. D

  6. Kathleen Pooler on July 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Dorothy,

    I met you on Twitter and this is the first time I have visited your blog. It is lovely! This post resonates with me,especially”follow your story by listening to any voice you know is truly your own” I am in the early stages of writing my memoir and am learning that it takes a while to find that voice which it seems to unfold with the writing. I love what you say about how” sharing our stories brings them to life.”Thanks for sharing this great post. It is like getting a group hug to read it! I hope you won’t mind if I link your post to my blog post this week on the power of voice in memoir.

    Write On!

    Kathy Pooler

    • Dorothy Sander on July 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks Kathleen! I’m so glad you found me and I’m thrilled that you find my words valuable enough to include on your blog. I will go right over for a visit. I think as writers our voice unfolds as we write. It doesn’t happen over night and even continues to come and go. I would love to read your memoir when it is done. In the meantime I hope you’ll stop by again. I look forward to getting to know you better. Twitter has its limitations! :) DS

      • Kathleen Pooler on July 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        Thanks, Dorothy, I look forward to staying connected as well. It is so refreshing, enlightening and helpful to connect with “like-minded” people. We can all learn so much from one another. Your blog definitely resonates with me!
        Kathy

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