Sharing Experiences – Beginning a Conversation
It’s hard to believe that we can feel so alone and isolated on such a big populated planet. How many of us could honestly say that we haven’t stood in a crowded space yet felt all alone? I have always been fascinated in how we communicate in our families, communities and on a world stage. I’ve come to realise that sharing our experiences including our struggles and failures are a very large part of the essential building blocks of any individual, family, friendships and larger communities. Yet we avoid talking about our struggles and failures like the plague.
Let me share a story with you. When I was 12 years old my mother was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the blood. My mother, father and the close knit church we were part of all went into denial. For two years I was merely told that I had to be particularly well behaved as my mother was ‘not well’. We all lived on the idea that if we ‘believed’ then she would be well. As a child no one sat down and talked or even asked how I was feeling. So we all watched my beautiful mother being quite literally nuked with chemotherapy and radio therapy. All our fears, sadness, even joy collected in a great lump inside each one of us. So for two years we were silent. Then one day my mother took me aside and announced she was going to die. A week later she died. On that day I lost two parents, one through death and the other through grief. All of the unexpressed emotions of the last two years quite literally surfaced a few days later when I woke one morning with a small tuft of grey hair on my right temple. I was 14 years old.
This would be an incredibly sad story if we didn’t learn from it. Quite simply we are making our selves sick and building higher and higher walls between each other. Hospitals and other institutions are full of people who haven’t been able to deal with their struggles fears and failures. Many have probably never been listened to. Sit and spend time. Often what seems ‘embarrassing’ or difficult is a great relief when expressed and shared. Telling a friend how you feel is never a sign of weakness, in fact it shows great courage. You allow another person to be seen, just by listening to them. Listening without advice can be an enormously healing experience. I see you!