“If a story is …

“If a story is not about the hearer he [or she] will not listen . . . A great lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting–only the deeply personal and familiar.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

I’ve been sharing my story for the Heart & Stroke Foundation the past few days. Five minute talks before the teams get on the big bike. I just stand among the group and tell them about me and my experience with heart disease. 

I feel proficient at it. I get nods and smiles. I’ve seen eyes well up.

But I feel like I can do more.

My guard is up.

It’s not that I’m scared to tell my story. Or ashamed of what happened to me . . .

It’s hard to put a finger on what bothers me about sharing my story but I’m going to try to explain.

My story is sad. There are a lot of difficult aspects to it . . . but I don’t want pity. 

I tend to run through the sad parts to get to the happy ending. To show that (ta-da!!) I’m healthy and well. That it’s “all good”.

I think the power in the story and “storytelling” is giving a place and a weight to that which happens to be sad about my life too.

That’s a hard place for me to go to because I consciously strive to be happy. I try and smile or joke my way through tough moments.

Smiling and joking through my story will not give it the same impact as telling it fearlessly . . . giving each moment (sad or happy) the energy it deserves.

I need to trust that my audience will understand that there is a happy ending.

I need to trust that the sad points won’t inspire pity.

I need to trust that I will find the balance of happy and sad to tell the story that does justice to all I’ve been though. 

These opportunities to speak and share my journey bring me closer and closer to finding that balance.

What happened to me is sad but I have not let it make me a sad person. 

****************************************************************

BTW, there are still a two days left to sponsor me for my Big Bike for Heart & Stroke ride!!! Here’s the link to do it on-line or you can email me to make arrangements to send a cheque. Thanks!!!!

http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1048036&lis=1&supId=383242957&msource=facebook

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