unearthing our stories

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I must confess I am a bit of a personality test junkie.

I can tell you my four letters for the Myers-Briggs, my number

on the Enneagram or what type of animal best represents me.

I remember slapping down $5 as a pre-teen to have my handwriting

analyzed at a shopping mall kiosk.

I held the results incredulously and exclaimed to my

father, my surprise at how the typed paragraph

described me perfectly.

My father simultaneously shook his head and grinned

while asking me why I was shocked when the

letters spelled more than my name.

Yet I am always shocked.

For some reason, I have always wanted further

undeniable proof of “who I am” painted boldly

on a sky-high blimp.

Writing a piece of my life story last week was illuminating.

I hadn’t envisioned 5 days of full of words.

As silly as it may sound, I was caught off guard that there

were some interesting portions of my life.

I have spent much of my life choosing modesty at all costs.

I have pressed down areas of my life which were a big deal

and acted if they were not in the least.

During my second year at Mayo, I called a college classmate

and friend.

She had banked on attending Mayo and I felt badly

that I was accepted instead of her and this influenced our conversation.

We took turns sharing our P.T. school experiences and

at every turn of our dialogue, I downplayed Mayo.

She on the other hand glowed about her program.

I hung up the phone and I felt like someone had thrown

a medicine ball straight into my midsection.

I definitely had struggles at Mayo but bottom line,

it was an amazing medical center.

Over the course of a half an hour, I had devalued

myself and my surroundings because I wanted

to make someone else feel comfortable.

She had moved on and was settled into her place,

I had not.

I was tiptoeing when I should have been pressing

the soles of my feet firmly in my shoes.

The past week taught me the importance of

sharing our stories.

I encourage you to whisper them when sitting across a

table or proclaim them while leaning

deeply into a worn-out sofa.

Even when you fear the details are plain and mundane,

I assure you they are not.

Our stories help us be known by others

and to learn about ourselves.

Bits and pieces of our life story intertwine us

in ways deeper than discussing weather patterns.

When Moses died, Joshua was chosen to lead the Israelites and

God tells him,

 “I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on–“

How would our lives change if we believed every square inch of land

we stepped on was ours to inhabit?

Would we see the people who cross into our plot of land as divine

opportunities?

Would we cease believing someone else was better suited for the

land than we are?

Our stories reveal we aren’t marking a place for someone else.

We stand shoulder to shoulder in prescribed measurements

of earth, let’s open our mouths and repeat our stories.

 

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