When to share your story.  Lessons from an Ent

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“I am not going to tell you my name, not yet at any rate.’ A queer half-knowing, half-humorous look came with a green flicker into his eyes. ‘For one thing it would take a long while: my name is growing all the time, and I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time saying anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.” 
>>  Treebeard in JRR Tolkien’s The Two Towers
Sunday 24 July 2016
I started this morning’s Sunday meditations by flipping through my journal to reflect on this past week and take an accounting of lessons learned and changes necessary.  It’s part of my weekly rhythm.
This page with the last little backwards bits of a photo transfer reminded me of an Ent, a race of tree-like beings in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world Middle-earth.
I am not going to tell you my name
I was struck by the wisdom of being slow to share name and story.
Brene Brown says it this way in The Gifts of Imperfection,
“You share with people who have earned the right to hear your story.” 
Man, that’s so good.  It’s one of the things I would tell my 16 year old self.  
[And my 21 year old self.  And my 40 year old self.  And for sure my 51 year old self.]
Be quick to smile and slow to share the details of your story.  
Rarely Seen
This morning I poured my story into the pages of my journal.  The pages have proven themselves trustworthy friends.  As have a very small handful of people in my sacred circle.  You’d be surprised by how small the number is.  Like Treebeard, I’ve learned to weigh and measure who gets to hear ‘the story of things’.
Here’s some more wisdom from Brene Brown:
I loved when she said this:  
“You have to think long and hard about who has earned the right to hear this story.  And, with whom am I in a relationship that can bear the weight of this story?”
My name is like a story
May you find companions along the way, who are trustworthy and who have sight to see you.  May your sacred circle be filled with quality over quantity.  Overflowing with those who can hold your story with skill, empathy and grace.
BE in your life,
By | 2016-10-19T14:20:22+00:00 July 24th, 2016|Uncategorized|4 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.   And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.
  • Kathy Mercure

    Beautiful Betsy! I’m sharing this on my storyteller page. Thank you!

  • Rachel

    Beautiful work. And man that message hit me at exactly the right time. Lately I’ve been feeling so cut-off…not on Facebook, on twitter but only in a slipshod way…not really part of the social media world…six years ago I had a little following for my blog..little, but active, a fair number of people who would immediately post comments, etc…now it’s all but dropped off. It’s been dawning on me lately how I am one of the only of my friends who still uses email as a way to stay connected socially. (Still makes calls and sends letters, too.) I was starting to feel totally depressed and then this morning it fully hit me that I am not only cut off (in maybe a negative way) but also cut loose…free now to focus on the relationships that matter, to find the people who have earned the right to hear my story. Thank you.

    • Rachel – same. The slipping away. The wondering about the different spaces. A few years ago the conversation was here and now it’s at IG and FB. I love what you said in your comment about connection. “….it fully hit me that I am not only cut off (in maybe a negative way) but also cut loose…”

      What a powerful reframe. And I get the email and hard copy letter in the post thing. Me, too. Sometimes, I mourn the lack of letters from my last 2 decades. Text and social media is quick, but the beautiful pieces scatter quickly. And honestly, I just love beautiful paper and ink.