Stories are just stories, tears are simply tears

[Bahasa Indonesia]

Friends, colleagues, acquaintance, or even strangers share stories with one another. People come to me (and vice versa, I come to them) to express what is in their or my heart, stories of happiness, joy, restlessness and complications in life.

I was looking at this fact a couple of nights ago. If what is going on outside of me reflects what is inside of me, then what is with this sharing of restlessness. Am I that restless and complicated that I need other people’s stories to reflect that to me? My heart sank a bit. I went silent and tried to hear the response to how I was feeling.

Then it dawned to me that perhaps it is not a complicated story of restlessness. In fact, it is not about restlessness and it is not complicated at all. They are just what they are: ‘stories’. And what they are sharing with me—and what I am sharing with them—is just that: stories. My heart grew much lighter. Love flowed naturally. And I saw nothing but beauty. His, through that friend of mine.

They were simply stories, an honest expression of something that needs to be heard, acknowledged, accepted, and loved unconditionally.

It was the second time this week that I was reminded of this matter. Earlier this week, another friend shared their story. There was this urge in me to comment but I managed to refrain. If only my head could be just as silent. Words went around my head. It was a (subjective) view of what I think my friend should and should not have done.

Then I noticed something else that made me stop. My ‘task’ is not to comment or even to cater to that thought of what that friend should or should not do. Who am I to know? Who am I to think that I need to ‘fix’ anything? Who am I to think that I can?

My ‘task’ is much simpler than that. It is to hear, to accept, and to acknowledge. What that person was sharing with me, again is just stories. It is neither good nor bad. And nothing needs to be changed at that moment. Things are what they are at each moment. At that moment, things changed in me. I could not help but smiled, and loved. I listened, hopefully, differently.

They were simply stories, an honest expression of something that needs to be heard, acknowledged, accepted, and loved unconditionally.

It is amazing how much seasonings we put into our stories. Often the seasoning becomes a dab too much that we could not taste the real meaning behind these stories. The true meaning got blurred, and hence a delayed opportunity to learn about our self.

Perhaps it is time (for me) to stop that habit. And listen. Really listen to what is going on within and without. Without adding anything to it. Allowing what it is conveying to express itself fully and honestly. It is a beautiful and kind practice of stillness.

As I was writing this, I was brought back to an incident a year ago. It was yet another story. This time, it was mine. About a year ago, I sat down with a friend. I was crying my heart out. It was a strange experience, as I really did not know why I was crying. We were having a conversation and I just suddenly broke into tears.

I was perplexed, yet it felt okay to cry. I did tell my friend about this perplexity. Why did I cry without knowing why I was crying?

My friend responded, “Perhaps you just need to cry. Don’t hold back. Let it out. Try to relax. Don’t think about it. Refrain from adding to it. He (God) will tell you what you need to know. As you relax, the cry will subside, and you can hear more clearly. Don’t interfere with the process.”

”I don’t know why either, but it feels like it is help. I am going to leave you by yourself as I also do not want to interfere,” she added as she moved away to give me some space. It was a perfect response.

The cry was just that, a cry. It was an honest expression of something that needs to be heard, acknowledged, accepted, and loved unconditionally.

This time it was my story told to myself. I just need to hear, acknowledge, accept, and love it unconditionally.

Thank you, friends, for helping me realize this. I love listening to you and your stories. If only you realize how beautiful you truly are. And how much you are loved.

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