With all the news events these days, I am keenly aware that it is difficult to know the full story.
I often hear the blame going to the media and how they don’t communicate the full story. I then consider how often we also fall in the category, asking ourselves, “when do I really know the full story?”
I am aware of how easy it is to assume I know the full story and form my thoughts and responses based on what I believe to be true. But when I consider all the places there may be missing facts, I realize I likely don’t know the full story.
I am aware of how easy it is to fill in the blanks based on what I know and what seems logical or feels right about it. Sometimes I am even aware that I am finishing the story in my thoughts. Somehow I believe I know enough of the story to draw my own conclusions. I must stop and realize I do not know the full story.
I am aware that sometimes I align myself with someone because I like them or trust them, and it feels right to support them. I think of times this has been real in my life, and I have learned that I did not know the full story.
And there are the spaces where I am simply an observer. Perhaps this is the most comfortable space to be a supporter or a critic of the total picture. Not remembering that many things are unfolding that I am not privy to observing. I have learned to pause before taking a stand and asking, do I know the full story.
As I have gotten older, I am grateful to have learned that it is unusual to know the whole story. Life is complex, and people are complicated. There is a mystery to how each day unfolds. I am reminded that good listening requires holding all that is offered to me and remembering there is likely more.
Am I able to speak words of support, encouragement, honesty, and compassion without sealing the conversation?
Am I willing to communicate that I hear you and be curious about what continues to unfold for you?
Am I willing to remember that every story is told from the perspective of the speaker?. That is not wrong, but that also is precisely that, someone’s perspective.
And so perhaps it used to distress me if I did not know the whole story. Today, I believe that there is likely always more, and I am ok with that. Work with what you have, trust what feels trustworthy, ask more questions where clarity is needed and always leave room for the unfolding of what is yet to come.
Blessed be His name,