I know you're all interested, for the most part. We've endured a life that, sometimes unfortunately, makes a good story.
Right. That makes all of us. Some of my life I've hid from you. Sometimes things should remain hidden, sometimes not. I want to be more confident about my opinions. I want to work harder. Bet you didn't know I spent a lot of yesterday wasting time. I should be more willing to understand the mechanics of things. I should be willing to try something without help. I should be less worried about what people might think.
Right. That makes all of us. The point is that everyone has a story, good and bad. We all make rockin' mysteries. I've been in the hospital often unfortunately. People say, "You know, my back really hurt yesterday but then I thought about you and said, 'I've no right to complain.'" Well, that's crap. I've got a high tolerance for pain. The attribute serves me well considering my prolific experience. But your scratch hurts like a SOB and, considering your less-than-prolific hospitalization experience, I'm empathetic about your scratch that hurts like an SOB.
You've a right to live your own story and I have an obligation to give you some credit.
We talked a lot about being foster parents. We've told you motorcycle stories, vacation stories, stories from church, thoughts about politics. I've shared poetry with you--I write poetry--even ranch hands read and some write poetry. I mowed the yard yesterday, took about 45 minutes to mow ten square yards--grass was freakin' thick man. I'm having trouble starting a business, but I'm excited about it none-the-less. I'm also hoping to be published, I love meeting with my best friends every week, am not always the most observant person but have the best wife ever because she knows this and, though she complains a little about it, is more often simply willing to help me think of things I can do to help her. She encourages me to try and fix something that's broken, even if I've never done it before. I ask her a lot to help me with this or that--she knows when to push me to do it myself. God knew what he was doing. Are you interested in that?
Oh yes--I joined Facebook too and I'm having a great time re-living some memories with friends I haven't seen in twenty years. Some are as hilarious and others as ambitious as we all knew they would be. Others have surprised me quite a lot because of the careers they choose or the places they live.
See what I mean? You have a story.
But you have to care about their story if you want them to care about yours. I get it, the scratch hurts. If I treat your scratch with disdain, then why should you care about my many hours in the hospital? The bible says, "Be slow to speak, slow to anger and quick to listen," (maybe not in that order). James truly utters a Proverb about relationships here. I can tell when you believe my story is a bunch of blather. I can. So you can you most likely.
SO, I have a few guidelines that might help all of us believe our stories:
1. Some of my stories are blather--If you can be trusted with my blather, I'll most certainly trust you with the good stuff too.
2. "You had to be there to get it." No I didn't, I had to be excited by your story and obviously you didn't get that from me. Sorry. On the other hand, none of us had to be there, you just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
3. "You missed the moment." Actually, we all live every second of every day--it's difficult to escape time. I was off having my own moment, so practice the ability to tell me a great story about the moment you just experienced. Your child just had a first step and your spouse wasn't there, that's alright. There's no reason to put your spouse down about your moment. Share the story. Even if your spouse had been day dreaming or tuning you out, he or she was having a moment themselves. They'll tell you about it if you're interested.
4. "You wouldn't understand." Really? I have nearly thirty-eight years of experience, I've probably come pretty close to every emotion out there. Not that I need to know everything. I don't. Besides, it might not be me, but it seems there's always someone that pops up that can most certainly relate to what's up with you.
If we trust each other a little bit more and deal with our stories a little bit better, our lives will be like fine wine--a complex mix that never tastes the same goin' in as it does goin' down. Also, I need your help! I'm not too big or masculine to need help or ask directions.
5. Last one: Be willing. That's it. You figure out what that means to you. Because everyone has a story.