American author and essayist Barry Lopez once said, "Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive."
Interesting thought, isn't it? Think about it: Don't our stories tell us who we are? Where we've been? Even perhaps who and what we might become?
When someone listens, really listens, as I tell my life story, I feel heard. I feel real. Alive. And when they affirm what I've been through and how I've come through it, I have truly been listened into existence.
Sharing our stories with one another is a pretty intense and deep way to get to know someone, especially when we don't hold back. Sharing your story is a gift. Hearing another's story is a gift, too.
Can you think of a time when you reminded a friend or loved one of a part of their story they'd forgotten? Do you recall their joy at being given that gift? I've had friends say to me, "Thank you so much for reminding me of that part of my story! I'd completely forgotten that. That helps me know that I can get through this situation, too!"
Yes, it's true: sometimes we really need our stories to stay alive.