A few days ago I saw a video on FB that made me smile. It was a home video of a young boy dancing in his room. His dad knocked on the door, and then came in. He was overweight, dressed in sweat pants and looked rather scruffy and unremarkable. The boy thought his dad would be angry about the noise and so he had turned the music off. Instead, the dad asked his son to put the music back on. And then he showed him some great dance moves. The boy was shocked. I think the rest of us were, too. It was a great reminder about the value of our stories.
What I smiled about was the fact that all of us have closeted talents, gifts and abilities. We have faced the most harrowing of challenges. We have worked hard and achieved remarkable things. We all have truly interesting stories. Each one of us, in our own way, do and know things that are beautiful and surprising. We live extraordinary lives – mostly unsung. Because they are our experiences, they often feel common and not worth sharing.
How many times has someone asked you what’s new in your life, only to be met with, “nothing really.” Yet, when someone takes the time to probe, and you begin to share your latest experience or understanding, he or she is genuinely awed.
We see this kind of interaction way too often with older people. To young people, they just look old and worn and so the young people dismiss them. The attitude is all too often, “How could they have done anything interesting or important?”
But, when you ask a wise person to share a little of his or her life, what you hear is astounding. Our lives are full of experiences that offer insight, joy, tears, love, healing and so much more than we realize.
We’re human. We like stories. The way we get to know, understand and have compassion for one another is mostly through the recounting of our lives. Facebook has become popular because it is a way to share everything from the very mundane to the extreme.
We also experience our emotions through this simple story telling format. We cry, laugh and even share our FB stream with strangers next to us on the train! We like to and need to share.
I invite you to enjoy a double scoop of joy today!
First, make today self-appreciation day by reflecting on your insights, achievements, talents, acts of kindness and moments of shared love. When we really take in our truths, we create a magnet for more like experiences. Then we see more clearly who we are and what motivates us. We see our authentic selves.
Secondly, ask someone to share something from his or her life. It may take a little prompting, but I promise it will be worth it. Most likely what you will see and/or hear will delight you.
Your gift to the world is to share yourself through your talents and stories. Your gift from the world is to receive and learn from other people. So ask, listen and share!