I am sitting at a coffees shop in Allen, Texas, called Frogg, and I’m musing. When I came here, I had nothing particular on my mind to write about.
While I was drinking my “red eye,” I noted that everyone was talking. Perhaps, they were sharing stories about something or someone. Several individuals have told me that one’s story is sacred, and that in the telling of a story, we share something that is very meaningful about ourselves. In that sharing, it is not only possible, but even probable, that the listener (or you the reader) may pick up something useful or something that allows you to connect with the speaker (or the writer). You may have just been given a missing pied of their own personal self-puzzle. If you receive that piece of the puzzle, consider it a blessing.
It is difficult for me to share. I experience social anxiety. I wonder what others will think. As with many, I sometimes try to be something that I am not. While knowing that, it is still healthier to share. As long as we are authentic to ourselves, talking, writing, reading, and listening are the right things to do. I find that many people, including writers, are not very authentic. This is unfortunate. I see a tendency with many individuals to be telling the reader something in the way of instruction. It is as if they have all the answer when, in fact, they have nothing. Most of the time, there is very little that an author can provide that has not been already been put out there.
While society says that each person is unique, I tend to disagree. I find that this is not true, that, in fact, we are really not so unique. And much of what someone has to say that is allegedly unique or original thinking tends to be instead rather atrocious, egotistical, and arrogant. It is certainly not spiritual, not does it produce an “aha experience.” Most people are moved by the fact that someone has credentials. They automatically presume because of those “credentials” that this person is an expert or a professional. As it pertains to my life and my problems, I am the expert. As it pertains to you life and your problems, you are the expert. So why do we put credentialed people on pedestals. The best communication happens when one takes the risk of getting off one’s pedestal. It is doing that that you meet the other person at their level.
Whether you are writing or speaking, there seems to be some kind of relief mechanism in releasing the essence of your personal struggle. However, think both parties, the speaker and the listener, or the writer and the reader, have to be on an equal and level playing field for the story to be effective. In the telling of the story, while sacred, the emotion of the story releases some of its strength, some of its hold. If both parties are on the same level, the shame associated with the story seems to be lifted–because there is no longer an element of secrecy. We remain alone when we hold on to our secrets. We are not alone when we share them. Why am I ashamed, or for that matter,why is anybody ashamed to admit that they are in recovery? Whatever form recovery takes, being there is a strengthening reality, not a weakening one.
We all look in the mirror. The mirror reflects our physical appearance. But let’s use the mirror as an analogy. The analogy would be that the mirror reflects back to you what others are seeing and thinking of you. As if looking in the mirror, it is very difficult to impress somebody or change their perspective o you. The mirror–what they see–bears the truth.
So, why do I write? I write because I need to. Writing levels the playing field for me. It is me on paper. That paper mirrors what I am thinking. The relationship between the writer and the reader can be balanced as long as I’m being authentic. If I am authentic and honest, the connection becomes real. It is not something contrived. I am not trying to be anything other than being me here, right now.