Writing a blog is an interesting experience. It is hard to know if the words written here affect people. Does anyone even read it? Even if they don’t, do I still feel it is worthwhile?
Blogging, at least for me, is not about comments and what people say. It is a tremendous and humbling experience when people comment and I get to know for sure, that someone besides bots are reading what I write. It is even more tremendous and humbling that people find what is written helpful.
It feels strange to say that. It feels strange to write into the abyss that I hope my pain and my healing can benefit someone else; and that is truly what I want. It feels egotistical for me to say that.
But my goal, and I believe Jennifer’s as well, is to get our stories out there, to let people know what we went through. The levels of hell we experienced are not just our own. There are so many people, far too many people, who know the same pain that we have known.
And there is always a fine line between comparing experiences and collapsing every experience into one which has no power. Every human being is part of the human experience, but that does not mean that we are not all different and things do not affect us differently.
This is an extremely over simplified example, but think of the game of telephone. One person thinks up something to say and then whispers it to the next person in line. Then that person whispers it to the next, and so forth until the thought reaches the end of the line. Then the final person has to say the first person’s thought out loud. It sometimes ends beautifully, sounding exactly like the person’s original thought, but probably more often, it comes out completely different than it sounded originally.
For some the game is fun; after all it’s just a game. But for others, for so many reasons, it causes anxiety. Some of us playing this game want every thing to be perfect. We want to hear EXACTLY what has been said so it will come out perfectly at the end. Some people may have hearing difficulties and so it may cause anxiety that the message may not come through clearly. Some people, from past experiences, get uncomfortable with people being too close to them. One person may be attracted to the person next to him or her and may be excited to be so close to that person. Some people are shy and they have a hard time speaking up loudly enough that the next person hears them. Some people speak too loudly. Some people don’t know how to play and relax.
Each person is part of the human experience, but each person also experiences the human experience individually. Then when we throw in the dynamic of different languages, different education, different cultures, different genders and sexes, and so many other things, it makes it complicated.
It also makes it beautiful and calls us to stand together and hold each other even tighter.
I cannot speak for someone who has been trafficked. I cannot speak for someone of a different skin color and claim to know how they feel. I can’t speak for someone who was born without a tongue. As perfect as I want to be, I can’t tell everyone’s story or fight everyone else’s battles. It’s not authentic to them or to me, but it also isn’t possible. Even if I had a twin, I could tell his or her story and claim it as mine because it isn’t.
That does not mean I can’t support all my brothers and sisters in every way I can. It means I can never say that it isn’t my issue. If it affects one of my brothers or sisters, it is my issue, but that does not mean I can speak to it with authority. It means, the best way I can share the story of another is to keep encouraging them to tell it. I can listen and help hear that person into speech. (I believe that term came from Carter Heyward.)
There is a lot of division in our world. I don’t think anyone would deny that. We are humans and that makes us similar, but not even close to all the same. We will never all agree on everything, and even with those whom we agree, there will be things upon which we do not agree.
Jennifer and I, through Learninghope, cannot deal with every complexity in the world, but we can encourage every person to tell their story. We can stand in solidarity of pain and healing with those who are suffering. So as we cast our voices into the abyss and the unknown, if you remember nothing else we ever say, remember that you are not alone in your struggle. No one knows what it is like to be you, but in your you-ness, there are those standing behind you, cheering you on to keep lifting up your voice.
In the movie, “Alice and Wonderland,” I loved the discussion of muchness. I posted the link below if you haven’t seen it. In your life, let your muchness fuel you, and if you’ve lost it, do what you need to find it, knowing that you are not alone.