Our stories are important. And they are unique. I heard much, felt much and learned much at yesterday's 'Taking Care' conference, hopefully the first of many to be organised by The Open Nest, but the thought that sits strongly with me today is how vital it is to take care of our stories.
Taking care of our stories, and those of others, means listening properly to them - the sort of listening that seeks to understand and not simply to reply.
It means accepting another's story without seeking to judge it, fix it, alter it or sanitise it.
It means resisting the pressure to make our stories or anybody else's fit into the narrow frame of some training we went to, or what it said in the books we have read. Just because it is true for many does not mean it has to be true for all.
It means being so comfortable and confident with our stories that we do not take other people's different stories as implied criticism of our own.
Our stories are important. They are unique, vibrant, living and growing. When we share them, we contribute to something much bigger than ourselves, and make connections across time and place.
Thank you everybody for being open enough to share your stories yesterday in York, whether from the front of the room, or from the tables, whether in brief or in detail, whether eloquently expressed or incoherently breathed out with a little help from the wine! My story is better now because of all of yours.