“There are so many places in your book where I feel so relieved,” a reader tells me, “because you write about experiencing things I’ve felt or situations I’ve gone through and thought it was only me!"
I smiled a big smile, because I am all too familiar with the “It’s Only Me” syndrome. I’ve often wondered if it’s because I’m an only child - I don’t always have a good point of reference for emotions or reactions, and often feel as if I’m out on a limb by myself when trying to cope with emotional entanglements or life's dilemmas. When I was growing up in my tiny triangular family, it was always "only me." With no siblings to share in life’s experiences, I had no model for how to react to situations that arose. I felt the need to stand strong, to hold up my side of the triangle and if I was upset about something, well, that was probably because I was overly sensitive.
Feeling the kinship of other like minded individuals is a huge part of the connection process I’m eagerly embracing since Life In General was published. It’s the type of comment I most often hear from the people who are reading it. “Your words really strike a chord with me,” said a musical friend. "When I read your Introduction, I was right there with you,” said another.
That’s all music to my ears.
The point is, it doesn’t have to be "only you." You don’t have to be alone if you find ways to connect yourself to the wider world. The details of our lives may be different, but underneath it all we share a world of common desire and need. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of that, and I’m thrilled if my book is doing that for the people reading it.
Sharing my stories in Life In General sets me squarely among you in the wider world. Sometimes it’s a little scary. After all, I’ve opened my life and my heart and spilled them on the pages of a book.
But when I start to feel afraid that perhaps I’ve shared too much, given more of myself away than I should, I remember there is safety in numbers, there is strength in community, and comfort in connection.
It’s not only me any longer. It’s you and me together, sharing this Life In General.
If you’d like to purchase Life In General and see how our stories connect, go here.
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