Hands down, the firehouse is the best place to hear a story.
And what stories they are! There are some tall tales told, between washing the big red rig and sitting down to a hearty meal at the worn-in, wooden dining table.
Like the one about the time a seasoned crew was called out to rescue “a dragon” out of a tree. The two salty firefighters went up in the bucket at the end of the ladder, gingerly coaxing and sweet-talking a very large lizard, named Bob, out of the branches. On their ride down, the two burly men stood pinned to a corner of the bucket, while Bob the Lizard eyed them, suspiciously, with his beady stare. Or the time that another crew convinced their fellow crewmate, that his already large head was growing larger and larger. Stealthily, every shift, they would ratchet down his fire helmet one sixteenth of an inch. And every morning as he worriedly tried on his helmet, he would explode with disbelief, thinking his head was indeed expanding.
I have belly laughed so hard at the stories told in the firehouse, as my diaphragm pushed out all the air in my lungs and my uncontrollable gales crescendoed into a silent laugh pantomime, all the while my eyes streaming giddy tears down my face. Oh, what a gift a good story is to the system!
Story after story after story. Soon, that is how we learn about one another–through the many shared adventures of our stories.
Everyone Has a Story
I have come to realize that we all have a story to tell. You have a story to tell. There are so many interesting stories out there – each one of us playing a unique character, an interesting role, coming from such a variety of geographical places, adventures, and inner personal journeys. There exists a banquet of experience between us, and the most fascinating insights waiting to be discovered by you and me.
We might think, at first, that our lives are dull or commonplace, but truly, our inner and outer landscapes are made up of many materials–some exquisite, some rudimentary, some yet undiscovered. There is much to be learned from our stories.
Sometimes we are utterly immersed and engaged in our story. We become our story. Some of us thoroughly enjoy the drama our stories bring. And other times we are able to see ourselves in our own story, from the outside looking in. Who is that observer anyway?
Observe Your Story
When we can look at our story from the observer’s perspective, we may be surprised at what we discover. Like the artist at the potter’s wheel, we are the creator–ever shaping our story. We, alone, get to decide what it means, who we are, where we are going. We may even realize that we don’t have to be stuck in our story; we can rise above it, even celebrate it. And re-create it anew. What a relief!
In telling one another our stories, we have the opportunity to uncover the most amazing revelations through the unique experiences of our varied lives. My story, like yours, has a little bit of everything – trials, tribulations, successes and victories. Things I am proud of and things I am not proud of. I do not claim to be an expert in anything or a saint. But my unique journey has shaped me and my view of the world, just as your unique journey has shaped you. In fact, I hope that, like me, you too become incredibly excited in the awakening to your own story.
We each have a story. And they are each unique, spellbinding, and incredible if we can see it that way.
How fabulous is that!? Seven billion people, seven billion different stories, seven billion different ways to live and experience this life. And our individual stories can stir, excite and inspire one another.
So, which story is yours?
The world awaits your story.