Everything that we have gone through in our life has prepared us for what is ahead and what is right in front of us. If we have made peace with these hardships, and heartaches we will find it easier to work through the next curve ball. If they remain heavy in our hearts and thoughts any new worry or frustration becomes suffocating. As a life coach/trainer, I found the best medicine for a worried mind, broken heart is talking. I call it treadmill therapy- talking through your thoughts, worries, and frustrations. This sharing strengthens your emotional well-being which sometimes is more important than the physical work that came after. As you share your stories- you let them out with a sense of vulnerability, understanding, and eventually peace.
When it comes to telling our stories, we tend to feel anxious, and scared.
Our inner critic kicks in and challenges us with thoughts like:
What if my story is too much?
What if it’s not enough?
Is it even relevant?
Our stories are the foundations of roads crossed, bridges burned, victories won, and lessons learned. Yet, we worry that when we reveal those deep paralyzing memories to another, they might be misinterpreted, misunderstood, or rejected. Or even worse–we might be disliked, talked about- hated.
Out of fear, we repress, reshape and retell our stories in a way that displays the highlights instead of the really messy reality. The highlight version is for sure easier to tell but, we do ourselves and others a huge injustice. When we tell a “highlight” story, we actually dull the very weapon we have to make peace with our memories, mistakes and mindset. Only with the raw and messy reality can set ourselves free and empower others.
The good news is when we share our stories remarkable things happen:
I remember finally having the guts to tell a friend a very hard part of my story. I had been stuck in a suffocating shame spiral for years over it, and that day I felt safe enough to share my raw and messy with her. After I finished, she looked at me almost speechless, and said – “that sounds so similar to mine”
I felt like I could breathe again, my shoulders fell from my ears and my rhomboid became less tight. I felt normal again. Because her words shattered the notion that had suffocated me for years–the lie that said I was the only one who struggled with this. As she shared more of this same struggle with me and how she overcame it, I went from feeling helpless to powerful, from suffocated to understood.
We never know what someone else is struggling with and we never know how we might use our story to speak to someone’s struggle. Sharing offers others peace of mind, reminding them they aren’t alone in their struggle.
Sharing our stories not only empowers us to tell them more, but it gives those listening permission to share the hard parts of their lives too. Vulnerability often causes a ripple effect. One person’s story inspires another person and empowers them to speak out about the raw and messy parts of their story.
Our stories aren’t merely a recitation of our past and present life events. They are so much more than that. Our stories contain miracles and heartaches–big and small. Our stories contain emotion and healing. Our stories are the framework for our purpose. This is the same purpose that you bring to the world. When we honor our purpose, we show up for the world. When we show up for the world we heal the Universe.
Bottom Line: Our stories matter and it matters how we tell them.