To live is to grow. Only love will help us grow and we provide it by connecting. That is why so many of us are hurting now, we have lost our usual means of connecting. Gathering in groups, close intimacy, all the physical ways we have connected in work and leisure are denied to us. We speak at a distance, we use technology to connect. Writing is now an important medium of reflection and connection that we can use to build the love we need.
I feel uncertain, fearful, confused, and wondering if I should think about it or simply do something else to distract me. This is grief. Grief is the emotion we have when we have lost certainty, when everything is changing so quickly, we cannot comprehend it. That is where I am now, and I wonder if you share that sensation? This is not a time to hide from our emotions, it is not a time to deny our feelings. It is a time to stand up with courage to the fear that confronts us. If we name it, open dialogue with it, then it will become something we can use to learn and grow from. If we run from it, deny it, or even try to fight it, it will consume us. We need love to counter it.
Love is a word with many meanings but they all have one word in common – trust. To trust is to be open to fully understand by listening. That takes courage, the very thing Brene Brown tells us when she writes:
“Trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.”
Genuine care and connection – that is love and that is what truth in sharing our story can give. I recently had the privilege of listening to the Certified Leadership Coach Cassandra Levin speak about the grief cycle and how we are all going through it now as a result of the loss of “normality” with the response to Covid-19. We cannot avoid it, she said, but we will move through it if we respond in positive ways. That response is best defined by the work of Brene Brown, the research professor from Houston who has studied courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy for twenty years and tells us that “owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” This is my story.
I am retired from the workforce, having been a teacher of High School History, English and Drama. I am currently the President of the Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland, an organisation that has the aims of encouraging creative writing, fostering the love of books and bringing writers and aspiring writers together. My life has been centred on “Story” and how sharing our story makes us the people we are. Writing is sharing our story and as one of the people tasked with providing leadership in serving as president of a writers’ group, I write to share with you. I believe we are the collection of thoughts and actions that reach back and project forward to make our present reality. I know that sharing our story connects us. I claim story is life, so let us share and create.
I invite everyone reading this to leave a comment below. Let us connect in love – “trust, respect, kindness and affection.”