“You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage.” — Alex Elle
We are all just stories.
We all have a story. Every experience we have adds to the narrative of who we are. It’s common for us to all feel that we’re alone in our pain and struggle. Or that nobody would care or understand, that we’re just ordinary humans doing ordinary things. What could be so interesting about the pain my heart feels or the mourning of my loss? Well, I think those are lies we tell ourselves to protect ourselves from being vulnerable or rejected. Our stories are carried deep inside us, unique to each of us like fingerprints to our soul.
You don’t just help people by sharing your story — you find people who care by sharing. – Unknown
We all have an inherent nature to be resilient. We are naturally determined to survive and flourish in the face of daunting barriers. Your life is full of accounts like this. You have survived challenging life events. You have surmounted significant hurdles that, I’m sure, seemed unconquerable at the time.
We have all encountered situations we did not want to face. Experiences we never thought we’d be able to survive. We have tried and failed. We have met and looked defeat in the face. We have disappointed friends and loved ones down. We have been betrayed and lied to. We have gotten up when we have been knocked down, and we have kept moving forward.
At times we change in nearly undetectable ways. And other times, the changes hit us like a tornado, swooping you up, head-spinning, dizzying, and disorienting dark madness. Then hurdling you to the ground with unspeakable force. Bruised and broken, you’re different. You walk away from the sudden storm as another person. You have grown. You wear scars that represent the storms you’ve weathered. The life lessons that can only be found in your darkness. Others need to hear those stories to find hope. To find comfort and be guided towards the light.
“Your heartache is someone else’s hope. If you make it through, somebody else is going to make it through. Tell your story.” — Kim McManus
We all harbor the same feelings of fear. Fear that nobody will understand. Fear of the critics. Fear of disappointing the ones we love. But, if you can find the courage to share your story and acknowledge that it’s okay to struggle, make mistakes, feel all of the highs and lows. To bare your human-ness to the world. Then you permit others to acknowledge these things within themselves, and then suddenly, beautiful things unfold. Others will stop hiding. They’ll step into their light and own their truths. They’ll begin to share stories that will give others hope and unite us together. This is what connects us all, all of our failures and stunning victories.
The world needs to hear your story.
I know that specifically during my health struggles, I’ve needed to hear other people’s stories of their fight, of hope, courage, and becoming. They’ve had such a profound impact on me; they’ve connected me with others who have overcome so much. They’ve created a community I would’ve never found otherwise. This is why we must share our journey with others. And hear from those who have faced what we are facing and lived to tell about it. We need the strength. We need to know that it’s possible to overcome our hardships or thrive in our turmoil, that it’s possible to continue living a beautiful, full life.
When you share your personal story, you never know the profound impact they will have on the hearts of those who are open and ready to receive them. Your story will most likely become a survival guide for someone else. A map with your words that they’ll tuck into the pocket of their soul to use as a compass to navigate the rough waters of their struggles.
So what if we all decided not to share our story because of fear? Fear that nobody cares. Or fear of being vulnerable and opening ourselves to critique. Some days when I sit down to write, I wonder if the world really needs my words. Does what I want to share and say really matter at all? Do people really need one more blog post or article or post to read? It’s these moments when I have a choice to decide if fear or courage will dictate my choices, my message. I think back on all those I’ve connected with because of the bits and pieces I have shared previously.
I truly believe the need to write our stories is like a flame that wants to burn. There is so much influence and power in them. If we give it the air, it will breathe air into our lungs and nurture our souls. If we try to smother it and prevent it from burning, it will slowly kill us and destroy the light that shines from within us all.
If you ever feel compelled by the desire to share your story with someone, don’t question it. Don’t overthink it. Just share. The odds are that there’s a reason you feel compelled to share it. Everyone has a story to tell. Sharing our stories normalizes the stereotypes and stigmas and encourages others. It makes them feel free to tell theirs. This is why you should write your stories. The stories of all you’ve overcome, survived and accomplished.
I’ve been awakened this past year and have come to know the truth that our lives are fragile. Our time is limited. Don’t put it off. The truth is, we don’t know when our expiration date is or how much time we have. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it now. Write. Now. It very well could be the only chance you have. Share your stories. You will be a better person because you did, and the world will be a better place because you did.
So, are you ready to share your story? We’d be honored if you’d trust us to help you share it with this community and us.