The pastor at my church started a summer series using story telling as a theme. Not just any story telling mind you, she will be using Disney stories. If you are in the Charleston, SC area, you might want to stop by and check it out. People have been using stories as a way of sharing in every culture beginning with stories told in pictures on rock walls. Stories are a way of sharing our lives with family and friends—and sometimes compete strangers.
Blogs have become a great way for modern day storytellers to share. Blogs that tell a compelling story are the ones I want to read. Yesterday someone asked me what kind of things I wrote about on my blog. I actually had to stop and think about it. The best way to describe my writing on my blog is storytelling. I tell stories about my life, my family, my friends, and more.
Blogs seem more focused on telling true stories rather than fiction, although some people use the platform for sharing their fiction work. Why would thousands of bloggers want to share their personal stories with complete strangers on the internet?
People obviously have a variety of reasons to share. Some people share their political views and want to sway others to their way of thinking. People use their stories as a way of sharing their religious views with the world. Some share recipes from their Grandmother’s kitchen or things they learned about gardening from their mother. Some blogs share stories in pictures rather than words or a combination of both. Then there are those few who just rant and rave about anything that crosses their path. I tend not to follow those blogs.
Back to Sunday morning for moment-the Pastor talked about hearing stories as a child and having wonderful memories of her Grandfather sharing his memories. I didn’t have that gift in my life. In the “About Page” on my blog, I mentioned that “don’t ask – don’t tell” was a practice in my family. Actually, my family did tell stories, but there were “stories.” I don’t know if people still the term as we did when I was a child, but telling “stories” meant telling a lie. If we use the lie definition, my family was good at telling “stories.”
My therapist was frustrated because my answer for many of her questions was “I have no idea.” One day she gave me the assignment to ask questions of the people who were still alive. I was thirty-five before I heard many of the stories of family members and stories from my childhood. My mother and father were the only ones I could ask. Some of the stories from my childhood contained some of the same facts but also had some interesting discrepancies. It reminded me that the stories I tell are from my perspective and my memory or the stories told to me by others.
So, why in the world would I want to share my stories? Many of my stories are about growing up with a variety of abuse, neglect, and stories of my journey as adult dealing with issues of religion, spirituality, addictions, recovery, marriage and divorce. Quite often, my stories are sad and painful, not only for me, but at times for readers as well. But, there are also stories of hope and healing.
Part of telling my story is to continue to heal and grow myself. I also share because I know that hearing another person’s story gives validity to what someone thinks and feels. It gives others hope for their own healing. It lets them know they are not alone.
In an article, The Importance of Sharing Abuse Stories, it says,
With the explosion of the Internet, we now have access to the stories of people in every type of abusive situation, and I personally believe that this is a boon to abuse survivors. We need to share our stories somewhere, whether it’s a blog, a blog comment, a forum post, or a social network, because it actually helps all of us move out of a state of victimization by reassuring us that our story is real because it’s being shared by other abuse survivors.
I hope that most of my stories share a vision of hope and encouragement not only for abuse survivors but for everyone.
I wonder if I shared that quote because I am still looking for validation and approval for sharing my stories. Maybe by continuing to write and share, I will find I don’t need that any longer. I hope so.
Do you think storytelling is important? Do you share your personal story in your writing?