John Koenig writes in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: It’s a calming thing, to learn there’s a word for something you’ve felt all your life but didn’t know was shared by anyone else.
In my daily work as language coach, when a student confesses how overwhelmed they feel regarding a complicated situation with a colleague, or a client suddenly sighs, looks away and admits, “I just don’t know what to do” , I’m always amazed at how a balloon of tension deflates inside and I intuitively respond, “I get it”.
A sense of calm takes over; a connection is suddenly created. Why’s that? Koenig basically names the reason: the relief that comes with sharing. You’re not alone. By using words to label the situation, we realize that we are both facing the gamut of human emotions: from overwhelm and confusion to wonder and excitement.
A story is composed of characters, setting and plot; a relationship is composed of feel it, name it, share it.
A story is composed of characters, setting and plot; a relationship is composed of feel it, name it, share it.Tweet
And Mark Nepo echoes John Koenig’s observation by writing in The Book of Awakening: having the life you want by being present to the life you have:
The reward for such deep listening was the incredible honor of first witnessing a living model of human courage, and then finding comfort and healing in the surprise that our stories are really all the same. […] For listening to the stories of others – not to the precautions or personal commandments – is a kind of water that breaks the fever of our isolation. If we listen closely enough, we are soothed into remembering our common name.
Christmas is at our doorsteps, and with it numerous get-togethers and special events. Times to meet and greet, time to share. For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, for others who are more introverted as I am, it’s a time to step out of my comfort zone and dare to create new connections.
This is my first post in a long time. I haven’t been writing, but I have been checking in to see if the small voice from this blog has been heard. I am thankful to notice that you have been dropping in while I’ve been away. Thank you, faithful readers!
I may not have been writing, but I have been learning. I hope to share some of the stories over the coming weeks. I invite you to join me, and to share your own stories.
You – we- are not alone. We have a story, each as unique as the individuals we are. Let’s dare to share them this year. I look forward to hearing them.
Til then, keep learning!
Love Claire :o)