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Unlocking Connections: Learning to be Generous with Your Story

I am a storyteller who has lived my whole life terrified of over-sharing. Is that you, too? If someone tried to tell you your story is worth sharing, would you also try to block out the noise? Raise timid hands over your ears and squeeze your lips together?

I was always ashamed of my voice. I took my perspective for granted. I hardly even knew my own story.

I wish I could lock eyes with my younger self and anyone else in those shoes and speak these words from Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola from Tell It Slant: “you could write a book that would be treasured in two hundred years, as we treasure the best pioneer diaries, if we could all learn, as those authors did, really to see” (p. 57).

To really see. See your world and your place in the world surrounding you. Take in the details and colors and the complexities of your internal state. I was always too scared to know and see it for myself, let alone let others in. Here's our challenge: Know it. As George Sand said, “Everyone has his [or her] own story, and everyone could arouse interest in the romance of his [or her] life if he [or she] but comprehended it.”

I’ve been told that in memoir writing, the more vivid and specific details you infuse into your story, somehow, the more your reader will resonate personally. What if this could be true in face-to-face communication, too? Many of us have heard Brene Brown's timeless and iconic message that vulnerability, in fact, leads to connection.

Know your story intimately, share deeply. Because the more generous we are with our stories, the closer others will feel to us. The more at home they will feel with us. The more comfortable they will feel to speak their own stories.

So, let’s see if we can pull our hands away from our ears and receive the message that our stories are worthy of being heard. Let’s open our eyes to the beauty and intricacy of our stories. And let’s learn to give away our stories a little more freely. It might be the secret that opens a new world of closeness and connectedness with others. And who knows, it might just unlock stories from those around you too.

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1 Comment

Ela Alvarado
Ela Alvarado
Sep 30, 2020

I love this, Alyssa!! What a great reminder to tell our stories as vibrantly as we possibly can to create a deeper connection with our listeners:)) Thank you for sharing, friend!

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