By Tracie Nichols

Several years ago I took a class called Dialogue As Spiritual Practice.

I’ve long since lost my handouts and notes, but the key idea that remained with me was to engage speaking and listening with exquisite presence. To treat conversations with the same reverence I would prayer or ritual.

Telling our story is a form of conversation with our readers or listeners.

By entrusting our story to someone, we are taking a tremendous leap of faith. This can be especially true if our story is woven from strands of violence, rejection, objectification or oppression.

When we listen to our own stories we’re trusting our memories and what our senses tell us happened. When we share them, we’re putting that faith in the listener; hoping they will stay present with us, believe what we are saying and trust our words as much as we do.

When this happens, storytelling becomes a prayer of the senses—an invocation of sacred space between speaker and listener.

When we leap faith—borne into words and offer our story, we are offering something precious and tender.

We are taking a chance. Telling the world, “I’m here. I matter.

When we listen, receiving an offered story into an open mind and heart without judgement or needing to lessen discomfort by problem solving or advising, we are taking a chance and telling the storyteller, “I see you. You matter.

A conversation treated as sacred space can leave everyone feeling like they matter. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all held conversations as sacred?


Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall