It’s no secret that I love books. Genre, author or age level doesn’t matter. All that matters is that for the moments I am immersed in the words; I am experiencing them. The author’s purpose is clear on entertaining or educating me and I soak it in.
Books are just another vessel used to tell a story. For generations since the beginning of time, humans have relied on story telling as a way of passing information, teaching lessons or building legacies. It is part of our human connection to desire to bridge our experiences with others. When we find someone’s words that correlate with our own heart, we feel empowered and that we are understood. A shared story gives us company on this journey of life.
This is why the sharing of your story is so important. To take our failures or triumphs and allow others to hear our story is to distribute hope and companionship.
When I first started to write about domestic violence, divorce and suicide; it was extremely hard to release my hold on my private life and show the fear and vulnerability that I was in. My biggest reservation was that in revealing my pain and the real me that I would be judged. To be judged at that point would have been salt in my already painful wounds. Yet my heart urged me to tell my story
As I released layer of layer of my life into words read by others, I began to step away from the grip the past had on me. No more hushed secrets. No more hidden pain. It was out there for anyone, but most of all for me. To own my truth. To confess my story.
One day an amazing thing happened. After writing a particularly hard piece about the war of guilt and forgiveness I was going through; someone reached out. An email saying, “Me too!!” Then another that said, “I went through the same thing and this is what helped.” Another one read, “I am in the same place you were months ago and what I have read here has given me hope and strength.”
A year has passed since I started writing the full truth. I have lost count of the letters I have received from people who wrote to encourage me, seek advice or just thankful they found someone who understands. There have been close friendships forged through the common bonds of domestic violence or suicide. People I would have never had the honor of meeting had I chose to stay silent. People who have reached out to help or lifted my family in prayer that have pulled me from moments of loss and despair.
It’s hard to take that step into the public to tell your story, but one thing makes it worth it all. To know that your life can impact another. To make that basic connection we all need to feel that we aren’t alone as we walk. To give someone hope and a future. To let your tests become your testimony and your messes to become your message.
Your story, your life is beyond measure and meant to be shared. The life you live serves a part of a bigger story that stretches generations into the future. Sharing your story is allowing the moments you lived to be woven into a great tapestry of life. In a tapestry each thread is significant and affects the others around it. The threads serve to show a bigger picture when combined in purpose.
Allow your story to be heard.