I suspect that one of the most difficult aspects of telling one's story is in deciding what to leave out. When I taught ethics classes in a business setting, students would come to me with ethical dilemmas and ask how much they needed to disclose in order to be "honest."
I would tell them that "you do not have to tell all you know in order to tell the truth" - with the exception, of course, of deliberate omissions which slant the telling in such a way as to create a falsehood.
Some of you may recall the illustration I learned as a young woman about two ways to tell a story. It is like serving potatoes freshly dug from the garden - you can serve them with the dirt on or with the dirt washed off. I generally prefer my spuds washed up a little.
Thus, as I contemplate telling you my story, I am deliberating upon what to leave out. Admittedly there isn't a lot of dirt to wash off, but like every human on the planet, there are days I would rather forget ever happened, words spoken I would give anything to take back, and mistakes for which I paid dearly.
But, to misquote Shakespeare , discretion is the better part of valor, and frankly our society has not been improved upon, in my opinion, by the degree of over sharing that goes on. The TMI (too much information) generation seem to have no boundaries, no sense of discretion.
A Scottish proverb says, "Open confession is good for the soul." Yes, but how open is appropriate?
One of the people I most admired in business, rarely raised her voice or weighed in with her considerable authority. She would simply get a look, and say with some asperity, "That simply isn't appropriate to the situation." Case closed. It privately made me smile, that sense of propriety, which was nearly always right on the mark.
And thus, I ponder ... what to include and what to omit. What to highlight and what to leave in the shadows. It is difficult to know. I hope that feedback from readers, as we go along, will give me better clarity as to what is providing some meaning or sense of value in the telling.
So tomorrow, or perhaps later tonight if I cannot sleep, we may continue my story. It may turn out to be a tale best left untold. But we won't know until I tell it, will we?
Next chapter: Church Girl Meets Bad Boy
Until next time ...Marsha
Question: Have you ever struggled with how much to disclose and what to keep private while still being authentic with your story?