It is very true that people just tell me things and share their stories, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. Everyone has a story, and most people simply want to be witnessed.
Most of us aren’t looking for solutions or problem solving; we simply want to be seen. I have many superpowers, but the ability to witness other people is high on the list.
Right now, people everywhere are starved for connection, and I am continuing to witness people and their stories literally everywhere I go, including at home.
I’m not anti-social, but I have lived here for more than twelve years and have had more conversations with neighbors in the past month than in several years. We are all stuck at home and not going anywhere other than stir crazy…which is a special level of hell even for introverts.
It’s always fascinating to hear how other people perceive of either me, or my life experiences. In a recent conversation, a long-time neighbor shared that they had watched my separation and divorce unfold, noting how my ex’s behavior was rather inappropriate.
I didn’t realize this person had been watching. In a way, it was validating to hear him share his perception of how my ex chose to behave toward me. Sometimes we aren’t even aware who is witnessing us and our stories.
As a writer and ghostwriter, I help people tell their stories; and I certainly have many of my own. It’s true that I cannot stop talking, but at the same time…I cannot stop listening. People and their stories are truly fascinating when we stop and simply pay attention to them.
This same neighbor shared some of his very personal stories that include massive grief and trauma. Everyone has a past, some of us are just more willing to show up and have it witnessed.
I am a natural listener and witness to the stories that people have to share. Even while supposedly being told to stay home, humans have a deep and intense desire to simply be seen. Some family members are horrified at choices I’m making, and while they’re welcome to their own opinions; I’m not willing to stop showing up for my own life.
Witnessing my own journey through this life experience, and sharing that through written expression is part of why I am here. Staying home, staying in bed, or opting out of witnessing and allowing myself to experience this life are simply not options.
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