I write a lot of lists. In fact, the first book I wrote started out as one of those lists. The irony is that I won’t write a grocery list, which is part of how I will often arrive home and realize I’ve forgotten to pick up coffee or some other essential item. Like food for the cats, who stubbornly insist that eating is a daily requirement.
While recently reading a massive book about depression, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, the theme of story and the healing power of sharing our stories came up. Then the concept of story showed up strongly in Chelsea Handler’s memoir, Life Will Be the Death of Me…..and you too. I’m well aware my reading preferences are a bit eclectic to say the least.
The recognition of this element of story led to a new list this morning; a list of words that are relentlessly following me around. Story and communication are two of the most prevalent words around me. They. Are. Everywhere. And of course, they are two words very deeply aligned and related to one another.
Recently I’ve been experiencing some extreme feelings of frustration around an aspect of my own story, wondering exactly how many effing times I have to tell it. The short version (you can read more about the longer version in the linked post): some guy I didn’t know assaulted me which led to a broken/fractured jaw and months of healing, not to mention some ridiculous medical bills.
Way back in March, I sent some of those bills with an application for crime victim assistance funds it turns out were available. In recent weeks that process has been finally moving forward. But not without my involvement…..which includes me sharing this aspect of my story with lots of new strangers on the phone.
My resistance to doing this stems not from any discomfort with communicating this piece of my story, but the utterly exhausting experience of witnessing others reacting to it. Almost without exception, there’s an energetic drop that I can feel as people realize what I’m saying. The lady I spoke with this morning is praying for me. And that’s not an uncommon response.
It is not my idea of a joyful afternoon to talk with multiple medical providers obtaining copies of receipts, but that is how I spent one day last week. Because this queen of attention to detail neglected to save copies of payments made several months ago.
I suppose I can choose to shift my focus to appreciating that I have the ability to communicate this part of my story, and often do so very directly. Endless opportunities for personal growth and shifts in perspective seem to surround me as well.
So, with a new list of words that refuse to disappear, I have no idea what I’ll do with it. For now, it’s enough just to recognize how strongly certain words and themes continue to show up, both within my own life and the experiences of others.
I absolutely play with words, and find myself effortlessly supplying words for those around me. This happens without me consciously intending to do it, in all kinds of settings and in a wide variety of conversational topics.
Communication and story are currently the front runners on this latest list of awareness, and I rather like how well they pair with one another; beautifully.
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