Saturday, May 12, 2007

EACH PERSON LISTENED TO IS A FOUND PERSON

I am writing this the day before Mother’s Day and just a little over two weeks before Memorial Day. My mother has passed on as well as my father. My wife’s mother is still alive, but her father’s death is just a few days from being a year ago. Both the living and the dead have their own stories, but who gets to tell them.
My mother can no longer tell her own story and even when she was here own earth with us was she telling her story or the story she thought someone wanted to hear? I have my doubts that my mom ever told her story the way she would have if she had felt she was a free and supported woman.
Not long ago I called my oldest sister to ask her a question about something when mom and dad lived in the mountains of Kentucky before dad got called up for World War II. She didn’t know so she called a sister of mom’s who didn’t know so she called another sister of mom’s. I found out things I did not know, but not the answer to my question. Had I not asked enough questions of mom and dad or had they not told enough stories? Maybe my memory is bad.
I am 58 and will be 59 later on this year. As the years go by I understand more about the importance of each person getting to tell their own story the way they want to. Some of us will have to rewrite our stories because we have let others define us and tell our stories for so long that for the true story to come out they must be totally rewritten.
To rewrite your story you need more than a journal. You need someone who will listen. Listen and not try to change the story or write it for you. Carl Rogers (1902-1987) contributed a great deal to the field of psychology with what he called a person-centered approach. It was based on being nondirective, nonjudgmental and holding the person in unconditional positive regard. His approach is not a buzz word among the elite crowd, but if you want to be able to tell your own story you will need a person who believes like Rogers did or a person who has decided to reach out in the same manner God reaches out to us.
God’s Grace for us is not based on our being good but on God’s goodness. That is a story we can count on as being true. We should help those around us tell their stories. Listen to them. Remember them. The stories of our people are powerful. Each story that does not get told is a person lost. Each person listened to is a found person.

I can be reached at eecoop_2000@yahoo.com

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