Let’s talk for a second about stories, shall we? More specifically, let’s talk about YOUR story. Although I don’t know what it is, I know it’s incredibly personal. Depending on your age, it may be a long story ... Or maybe it’s been pretty short. Many might know your story. Or you may have kept it hidden and only shared it with a few. I also know that your story has involved strength. That’s right. I guarantee it’s taken some amount of strength to get to where you’re at. (And you’re here, so it’s not over yet!) But have you identified that strength and used it to share your story with others? If not… Where do we start?
We have to own our story.
Before we can do anything with it, we have to first own our story. You might have been doing this for a while now. For others, this could be a fairly new concept. Or maybe you haven’t attempted it at all yet. Regardless of where you find yourself, you have to learn to accept your story as your own. Stop running from your truth. Stop distancing yourself from your past. Stop being afraid of looking in the mirror. Owning it means claiming it as your own, and that’s so much more difficult for some of us than others. This step may require that you seek out a therapist or counselor to help you walk through some of this. It’s important we do the work and begin to make peace with our stories as our own.
We have to remove shame from our story.
Everyone has parts of their life they are ashamed of, I’m sure. If we didn’t, why wouldn’t we all be sharing our stories freely all the time? Once we own our story, we can begin to identify the parts that cause us shame and start eliminating that shame from the narrative. Again, this may require professional help. That’s okay. Do the work. Take shame out of the equation. You won’t be able to move forward in your story if you don’t distance yourself from that negativity.
We have to find strength in our story.
As I mentioned before, it’s going to be important for you to single out the moments of strength in your story as it begins to unravel. Celebrate those times as you find them. Figure out how you can replicate them. Investigate what it took to get you to that point and how you can get it going again. We often sell ourselves short when it comes to our own strength. But when we recognize how it has played out in our lives and when we name it, we can use it again and again.
We have to tell our story.
This is the culmination point. You may be ready to start here. You may have already done the hard work of owning your story and distancing yourself from shame and recognizing your own strength. But this step – telling others your own story – this is the icing on the cake. We don’t go through this process for others. We go through this process for ourselves. But when we’ve done this hard work, it’s time to share it. Because in sharing our story, we gain more strength, and we give others strength too. We give them the strength to begin their own process of figuring out their story and how to talk about it.
So get out there. Find the strength of your story. And never stop sharing it. Because the world needs you.