To bond, to build relationships is one of the most innate human actions, a need hardwired to ensure our survival and also to give us a meaningful existence. What proves to be life sustenance, what makes our life a possibility of colourful rainbows, what can be a strength, a joy; at the same time can make us the most vulnerable, make us open to the most pain, make us not like ourselves or/and others.
One of the ways we bond, attach is when we share our stories. It’s in the understanding, the resonance, in the empathy the glue that binds us together. That’s also the glue that can easily come undone and leaves us a gaping hole of vulnerability.
It’s been my toughest line to walk, what to share and how much. I realise when someone asks me about my work, it being very close to my heart I tend to speak unabashedly, openly without looking at who’s asking. Are they really interested? What can I sense? How much is ok? Is this a safe relationship? Is it safe enough? Is what I am saying resonated with or dismissed?
Most times, it’s my naive belief if you have asked more than 2-3 questions, you are interested. Well, it’s not so. It took me some hard lessons, some pain to realise that sometimes you are being set up. I really really want to tell people about what I learn everyday, how much an honour it is to be a part of someone’s story, how healing it is to share pain, how human it makes me feel, everyday, without fail. So in my eagerness to share, to bond, to build a connection, I forget something very important. A question?
Have you earned the right, the honour, the privilege to hear my story? Do I feel safe with you? Do I feel respected? Do I feel heard? Do I feel a lightness of heart when I share? Do I see my heart reflecting in your eyes? Do you see me?
Till I feel all or at least some of the above, my story is my right. I forget this, for I would like to bond, to be valued for what I am. When I am not, I feel pain. Yet, when I share and am not heard, I feel pain.
So often now, I ask myself, what pain is better for me in the long run?
The pain of not sharing my story or the pain of sharing my story when the right is not earned by the other.
Most of than not, I get a healing painful answer.
My story matters,