Friday, August 14, 2009

Sharing Your Life Stories...

I have to share this list with you...someone emailed this to me and I thought it was perfect to share with you all!!

"I'm a totally ordinary person," you shrug. "I'm not famous. I haven't done anything important. In fact nothing really outstanding has ever happened to me. Why would I want to share my life story with anyone, and, for that matter, why would I want to listen to or read the life stories of other ordinary people? And why on earth would I want to write my life story? It's so boring! Memoirs are for celebrities."

Fair questions. Here are a few possible answers. At least 55 reasons why you might consider reflecting on, sharing, and even writing your life stories and listening to the experiences of other people. You may have--or find--additional reasons…

  1. You'll learn something from reflecting and from remembering.
  2. You'll learn something from telling, both orally and in print.
  3. You'll learn something from hearing and/or reading the life stories of others.
  4. You'll practice listening skills, boost empathy, deepen relationships.
  5. You may experience some cathartic pain, which is often good for the soul.
  6. You may heal old wounds--or soothe current pains.
  7. You'll deepen appreciation for your life characters--family, friends, coworkers.
  8. Those who hear or read your stories will better understand the real you.
  9. You'll recapture memories and experiences you assumed were lost.
  10. You'll trace and uncover some important threads through your life story.
  11. You'll reveal something of what's important to you, what you deeply value.
  12. You'll share--and spread--vital values, through what you tell (and don't).
  13. Life review may reveal patterns, connections, hidden insights.
  14. You'll more deeply appreciate your own heritage, culture, ethnicity, roots.
  15. You'll understand, appreciate, and connect with people different from you.
  16. You'll find you have a special gift to give that only you can give.
  17. You may bring genealogy to life, humanize and honor your ancestors.
  18. You will clarify the cultural context, history, and settings that impact your life.
  19. You may clarify family and ancestors' cultural context, history, and settings.
  20. You'll more deeply connect with your past and your people, living and dead.
  21. Paradoxically, You'll more deeply connect with others' past and people.
  22. You'll have a good excuse for a healthy cry or two, and lots of laughs.
  23. You'll have a great time, enjoying the exploration and the sharing.
  24. You'll get a powerful educational tool to share across the table or across time.
  25. Your struggles and triumphs, however small, may inspire others.
  26. You may inspire yourself.
  27. You may surprise the spouse, child, kin, or friend who "know you well."
  28. You may increase others' understanding of "people like you."
  29. You may prove that there is no one exactly like you.
  30. You may wonder at the miracle of our common humanity.
  31. You may have a precious written gift (whether book or one-page memento)
  32. You can leave a valuable legacy, before it's too late!
  33. You can make photo albums and scrapbooks far more meaningful and fun.
  34. Brief stories can add meaning and value to heirlooms or artifacts.
  35. Your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will learn "real" history.
  36. Family may see you as more than merely Mom, Dad, Gram, Aunt, or Uncle…
  37. Family may come to understand their own rich connections and contexts.
  38. Family may get a kick out of making fun of you and the "olden days."
  39. You may answer some questions that have been nagging you.
  40. You may raise questions to spend the rest of your life answering.
  41. Past experience may suggest how to best live your future, however long.
  42. Your past could help others learn how they might best live their future.
  43. Your mistakes may help others avoid some of theirs.
  44. "Mistakes," "losses" re-examined may turn out to be blessings in disguise.
  45. Opening your senses and imagination will enrich and enhance each day.
  46. You'll build, enhance, deepen relationships with folks living and dead
  47. You'll build, enhance, deepen relationships with folks known and unknown.
  48. If you write it or have it written, you'll have interesting reading.
  49. All your life, you can continue learning from rereading. And write more!
  50. If you write it or have it written, you may achieve a sort of immortality.
  51. You'll illuminate your perspective on culture, religion, places, people, life.
  52. You can show appreciation for those who have enriched your life.
  53. What you know, care about, feel, and think won't die with you.
  54. You may grow spiritually, feel more kinship with humanity, a oneness.
  55. You'll discover you aren't so ordinary after all! (Who is??)

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Janelle said...

That's nice, thanks for sharing! I didn't know when I began my blog, but it's a bit of therapy for me!

Marie said...

Hello Tara - what a wonderful list of reminders as to why it is so very important to share and record our life's story! I love this.

Thank you for joining the party!


Tales From the Land of Motherhood said...

Great list of reminders of why we do what we do. Thanks for sharing!!

Debbie said...

That is so great, Tara! I love it.

Terresa said...

Great thoughts here. My grandma is a walking book of her own life stories, American history, etc. I treasure her.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Thank you, Tara! Blessings!

Jason Burns said...

How true #6 is! I've found that writing about something that bothers me - even if it's simply a conversation when I scream at someone who's hurt me - really helps me get through it.

Of course, all the reflecting also makes me realize how silly I'm being and how unimportant all that stress is.

Nathalie Brault said...

Wow what a big list
thanks for sharing
now come over to my blog and let loose enter some of my giveaways

Krystal said...

What a great list, and a great post! I love it!

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