Listening to Our Stories

Jean Nevills Part 2 of 3

When was the last time you told your story? Share this practice with a trusted friend or loved one by making a date to meet for an hour in an appropriate setting. Honor the strict confidentiality of this exercise. Hold a few minutes of silence while you each choose one season or episode of your life that marked you. Notice how reflecting on it affects your body, emotions, energy or thoughts.

Take turns (allow about 20 minutes each):
Share the story of when/how this season or episode of life came about.
Share how it affects you today.

When you are done sharing, thank your friend for listening.

As your friend shares, hold a posture of humility, mutuality, and love. Refrain from commenting or advising. Allow for pauses and silence, laughter or tears. When your friend is finished sharing, say thank you for sharing.

Close your time together by reading aloud the following poem or a prayer of your choosing.

The Sharing

We told our stories – That’s all.
We sat and listened to each other
and heard the journeys of each soul.
We sat in silence
entering each one’s pain and
sharing each one’s joy.
We heard love’s longing
and the lonely reachings-out
for love and affirmation.
We heard of dreams
shattered
and visions fled.
Of hopes and laughter
turned stale and dark.
We felt the pain of isolation and
the bitterness of death.
…God’s voice sang in each story.
God’s life sprang from each death.
Our sharing became one story
of a simple lonely search
for life and hope and oneness
in a world which sobs for love.
And we knew that in our sharing
God’s voice with mighty breath
was saying love each other and
take each other’s hand.

Ewina Gateley. There Was No Path So I Trod One. ©1996 pg.62
Listen to all parts in this Listening for Change series