- The First Funeral Story
- The Baked Bean Story
- The Spiderman in Mexico Story
- The Heroic Wine Cellar Story
- The Aaronic Blessing in the Mall Story
- The Target Story
- The Joan Benoit at The White House Story
- The Private Parts Drawn on the Paper Towel Story
- The Beautiful Witch Lady Story
- The Brain Tumor Wedding Story
- The Dessert Menu in the Ladies Room Story
- The Exorcism Teacher in the Church Parking Lot Story
I literally have hundreds of them. They are all true. And some are amazing, if I may say so myself.
I’m trying to stop the habit of telling other people’s stories and sticking to my own, and this is hardest when it comes to my kids. I share stories involving them because my kids are exceptional human beings and I want everyone to know. I’m that mom.
But this brings me to a question, and it’s ultimately a spiritual question:
Why Am I Telling This (or any) Story? It’s a spiritual question, because the answer discloses my insecurities, my human needs, my sinfulness.
- Am I sharing this story so you’ll think that I (or my kids and therefore – again – I) am incredibly smart/good/clever/important?
- Am I sharing this story to top your story, so that I’ll feel superior?
- Am I sharing this story to bring someone else down?
- Am I sharing this story to make an excuse for myself?
- Am I sharing this story to draw attention to myself for no particular reason?
- Am I telling this story because I know it’s a winner and I’m basically a Myers-Briggs introvert who wants to go home?
I’m trying now – before I tell a story – to ask myself these questions. Stories are crucial tools for entertaining, explaining, teaching, admiring, and blessing people. Or they can be used to imply to our listeners that we are, in fact, the prettiest girl in the room. (I’m speaking to both men and women here.)
It seems to be a good spiritual discipline to ask the question.
Image of Dana Norris, host of the Story Club Chicago.