Thursday, May 19, 2011

Letting Our Voice Be Heard

I attended a Church Workshop recently in which we worked on sharing our stories.

As chair of the Evangelism Leadership Team in my parish, we have done lots of work over the past several years on doing just this.

In these difficult times we need to share our stories with one another and stand together.

This is what we're called to do and this is the the way we support one another and survive ... unity, compassion, understanding, love & support.

We need to stand together and support one another in faith & love. This is done through sharing our life stories and opening up ourselves to one another.

We each have a story to tell, and most of our stories have to do with our faith.

It might be a story of how our faith affects our lives, or how our lives affect our faith. Either way, faith is an integral part of our life's stories.

Sharing our own story can provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.

Everyone, at one time or another, has wanted to express his or her story.

Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish publicly is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on our experiences and to share our unique voice.

We've all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we long to document.

While in my process to ordination, I wrote my own Spiritual Autobiography, and I find it very helpful to return to it as I navigate the waters of my life.

Giving into the urge to journal our lives can also provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.

No one else has to read it.

We might even want to write our story without reading it afterward and put it away to read in the future. Satisfying the need to tell our story is not predicated upon our writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail.

Our memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. However, rest assured that we possess the ability to shape our recollections into stories which we can share with others to help build lives of faith and fellowship.

Writing our story, however, is different from writing a journal.

On the one hand, writing a journal is a private and personal matter.

On the other, everyone wants to be heard and know that we matter and that our life story can possibly make a difference.

Reading our story to others meets the human need to be heard. Writing our story helps validate our life.

We all want to know that what we have to say matters.

Once we finish writing, we might even be surprised at what we have accomplished.

Our story can encompass as much or as little of our life as we prefer or as in needed to be told for a purpose.

We might even be surprised with what we learn about ourselves as we prepare this story to share.

There are new insights, ways of finding ourselves, exploring our roots, our identity, and our future through our words.

There is an amazing peace and balance which comes from reviewing our lives and sharing our stories.

There is a peace which ensues.

We need to allow our writing to guide us and write as truthfully as possible.

We can't worry about what others will think of our personal journey, our style of writing, or our words.

Research has shown that writing a narrative filled with feelings and perceptions can create long-term health benefits.

As we write, we need to remember to express compassion and understanding toward ourselves, particularly when writing about traumatic events.

If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older.

If you are an older person, you can do the same as well as add memories as your story telling will encourage and enhance that.

Your writing may even help family members know you better or understand themselves more.

Most importantly, in writing our personal story, we express ourselves in a permanent way, giving a gift not only to our future selves, but to the world by letting our voice be heard.

With love, light & volume,


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