The Whole Story

This is not the whole story. I wanted to be upfront about that, so that you don’t get the wrong idea. I have peeled back the curtain more than most, perhaps, but you still aren’t getting it all. Aside from the fact that there is no way you possibly could even if I wanted you to, you should know that there are bits and pieces that I am never going to share. I am not going to tell you anything about my family that I think might someday be damaging to them. Their real names are on here somewhere, and so I will share some of their foibles with you, but the worst will remain behind closed doors, as it should. Parts of the story are missing.

You don’t know everything that I struggle with either, and I don’t want you to. Please don’t ever read these posts and imagine that every detail is laid bare before you. I am telling a story, constructing a narrative, and I am including the bits that I hope will make you feel something. Generally I want those feelings to be positive towards myself. I want you to like me. I think that’s kind of a human thing, isn’t it? Besides, I don’t need to lay out all of my faults for you. They’re pretty easy to figure out.

I often find that the lessons and morals that I try to provide for my readers at the ends of my posts are the very things I need to work on myself. It was pointed out to me that I wrote a post about being tolerant of other viewpoints, while in the very same post I put down people who were not tolerant. Heh. Not very tolerant of me. I was told that in a piece I wrote about kindness and patience for people whose story you do not know, I was neither kind nor patient with someone whose story I did not know. Every message of positivity that I have tried to share with you exposes a time or place that I have failed at it myself. Just because I believe something to be good and true does not mean I believe it to be easy, and it certainly does not mean that I feel I have achieved it. Rest assured that if I am sharing advice with you, it is because I learned it the hard way.

Every person you encounter has a story, and you will never know the whole thing. Even the people to whom you are the closest have huge chunks of their lives of which you will never be a part. But listen to the pieces that they are willing to share. Know that they have problems and burdens that are none of your business, and yet affect your interactions all the same. Try to look at people with a forgiving eye. Don’t judge too harshly. It is almost never my intention to hurt anyone, and yet I hurt people all the time. How I wish I could explain to them what I really meant! We judge ourselves by our intentions. Do we give others the same benefit? I know I don’t. But wouldn’t it be pretty cool if I did? Another lesson I need to keep learning. Another part of a another story.

Look, I’m going to keep on preaching love, patience, tolerance, kindness, and acceptance, and I’m going to keep doing it until I finally get it through my thick skull. Because I need those things from you as much as I need to be those things to you. And I’m going to fail sometimes. Some of those stories I will share with you. Many of them I will not. Just remember, there’s no such thing as the whole story. It is impossible to get. I just hope you can take these half-truths, parables, and approximated realities and cobble together something worthwhile. Incorporate it into your own story, and then share it with me. Share your story too. But not the whole story. That would take a lifetime, and I have other stories to hear today too.

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