Not long ago, I wrote a post where I shared an anonymous version of an email from a reader S who's become a friend. This friend had just experienced a miscarriage and said that my words about my own loss had helped her when she was faced with hers. I shared her note because I wanted to underscore a realization I've come to again and again: There is an incredible power in stories. They connect us.
Just today, I heard from S again. She told me a wonderful story, a story about taking a risk and telling her story to a friend. Here's what she wrote:
I just wanted to thank you again for posting my email on your blog a couple of weeks ago. I have gone back to read them a few times over the past weeks and seeing my words there alongside your words has made me brave.
Last year when we left the city and moved I made a friend. It was one of those times when you meet someone and you click instantly and just know that this person is someone who was meant to be in your life. Who was meant to be your friend. Last week I was at her house on Saturday afternoon and we were having one of those long and winding and amazing conversations about everything. I hadn't told her about what happened to me, and it seemed so strange to leave out the one thing that has been occupying most of my thoughts for almost a month, but at the same time, I hadn't really told anyone except for my family and my 2 lifelong friends. But then I remembered what you wrote about telling our stories - especially the hard ones. How it is not unlike inviting people into our homes, trusting them to look around.
So I told her. Everything. About the excitement and the happiness, and then about the fear and confusion and grief. About how I felt and how I feel and what happens from here. And the most astonishing thing happened. She said, "me too," and told me her story, that was almost identical to my story, the one she never tells anyone. And in that moment, our friendship took on an entirely new life. I could actually feel it happen, and it was something amazing.
So just a note to tell you that you are so, incredibly right that telling our stories is hugely powerful, that inviting people to share our lives in that way makes those lives immensely fuller and richer. And that hearing someone say "me too" lightens a load that you once thought nearly impossible to bear.
Oh how I smiled when I read this. I've been there, feeling my pulse quicken as I shared part of myself, feeling that immense charge of joy and relief when hearing those two exquisite, utterly human words:
Lesson learned: Speak up. Tell your story to someone you trust. Realize that despite your sadness and your uncertainty, you are far from alone.
Have you experienced any Me Too Moments?