Everyone has a story. I have a story, you have a story, we all have something to offer this world through our experiences. The reason why, you ask, or may wonder is because we all have different perceptions of each experience. Take a trauma, for instance. Two children could encounter a very scary, angry dog at a young age and the barking alone could be enough to scare both children to the point of trauma, but only one might be traumatized. Both have similar backgrounds, family experiences, etc. So why? I’m not quite sure, but the gift of the darkness is that it offers perspective. It offers the world (and oneself) an invitation to accept their different way of looking at things and celebrate the difference.
I think of the revered medicine men of the native tribes who were probably showing signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, but were trusted to be looked at for wisdom and insight. Since when did, different become wrong? I think that would take a vast look throughout history that we don’t have the time or resources to examine. Different is different, but we have the chance to make different beautiful.
I’ve always been drawn to a good story because it reminds me that I’m not alone. Stories have helped normalize my experience and, although different, they would help me feel in control and not crazy. I remained different, but not isolated, not outside of the realm of a norm. I belong to other like minds, but am free to be me.
I want to start a collection of stories. I was touched deeply (would even argue saved) by a collection of stories called “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jack Canfield. I remember loving these stories because they stirred something in me and challenged me to a be better person and to look at myself with love. I’d like to do something similar for the mental health community. I’d like to offer not only perspective, but hope, because as my 4 time cancer surviving grandmother used to say ‘you can’t live without hope.’ She meant that both figuratively and literally. I believe both to be true and want to carry on her legacy.
So what does this mean for you, the reader? Well, a lot actually. It means that I want to get to know you. I do. I’m going to select some people to tell their story. Consider this your mini biography. Keep in mind that we can’t tell the whole story, no single blog post could fully encompass you, but I will do this interview style, possibly over Skype, if selected. Hopefully this will be the start of something we can offer on a greater scale one day. It’s worth a try!
So if you’re interested in offering hope to the world of mental health, to both the patient and practitioner, the burnt out and hopeless, then email me and let’s talk. Also, if you know someone who has a story that would offer hope and healing, please feel free to share this with them.
So if you’re interested, here’s the information you’ll need:
What does hope mean to you?
300 words or less: Why do you want to share your story?
Keep in mind this may be a section of what you want the world to know, maybe something you’ve learned in the past or are learning, because as I said above, we couldn’t possibly encompass the complexity of you in a single post and I don’t even want to try.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Grace and hope,
Man using Skype photo available from Shutterstock