Remembering the Story but Forgetting the Happening
by Jackie Woods
When I was a young girl, my mother and I would sit on my grandmother’s front porch and transition vegetables from the garden to the refrigerator. So, while husking the corn, snapping the green beans, and shelling the peas, I heard the family stories told and retold.
After grandmother died, the stories were continued even though the happening was no longer a reality for the storytellers. Through the years, little details began to change in the stories so by the time I told them to my children, they probably didn’t even resemble the truth of what happened.
Doubtless we are all a little guilty of embellishing a story to make it more entertaining or to make our part appear better. However, the further the telling slides from the true happening, the less value it energetically holds. Fantasy is fine if the main goal is entertainment. But, if the goal is to pay forward the energy of the happening, then you become a sharer instead of just a storyteller.
If you would listen to yourself as you retell a story, a great deal would be discovered. So ask yourself, “How do I share?” Do I tell a story simply to entertain or do I tell a story to share who I truly am? If you are sharing the energy of the happening through your story, then you are gifting the listener. And even if you were not part of the original script, you can still be true to the integrity of the energy of a happening by sharing honestly what it means to you.
Personally, I prefer to know a person rather than just hear their stories. So I have tried to develop a listening style that makes it safe for a person to be honest about who they were in a happening. This opens a window that lets in the refreshing air of realness. I can then walk away with a full heart rather than just walk away with more information.
When you share stories where everyone’s part in the happening is valued, you are paying respect to the participants as well as the listeners. And while embellishing the truth for entertainment is fine if done in the sense of play, it is never good to dishonor one’s true intent. With a focus of authenticity in your sharing and listening, the retelling of stories can become an important interactive tool, since it is realness that opens heart doors to let others enter.