Life is a culmination of colorful and vibrant stories. Stories of triumph, pain, resilience, joy, and more. Whatever the backdrop of the story, each one is worth sharing. Why? Because every story has a message. It’s those messages that nurture change and growth in ourselves and others. To keep our stories to ourselves, in my opinion, is a selfish way to live life. It becomes an additive to only existing and not living life out loud. Imagine if everyone in the world kept their story to themselves? It’s not a world I’d want to be apart of. Everyone would be bland, potentially limited in dimension and simply not offering the best of who they could be otherwise.
I recently had an in-depth conversation with one of my younger family members. They are new to college and starting to experience some of life’s woes. Reality is beginning to set in. Their sound decisions and/or lack thereof are beginning to truly shape the path of their future. During our conversation, they explained that no one understood them. No one knew what they were dealing with. And without hesitation, I stopped them in their tracks to share my story. I didn’t stop them because I didn’t want them to express themselves, yet I wanted them to know that they were not walking alone and someone else could understand or at least empathize with them. I shared the traveled road of what it felt like to explore all of life’s nuances independently for the first time. I did so without hiding my faults and mistakes along the way; choosing to be as open as I could. By the end of conversation, they expressed that they could see the correlations that I made between their experiences and mine. Their willingness to open up grew. Furthermore, they more greatly embraced the knowledge that I could share. It is my hope that my shared story becomes apart of the backdrop for their choices; their decisions and thinking process.
So, how does sharing your story help you? I like to use the relationship between myself and one of my mentors. Periodically, I’m able to sit down and share my past and current experiences with her. From those conversations, she’s able to pour into my knowledge base. I learn new ways to do things. I develop diverse perspectives on things I possibly couldn’t do without having had the dialogue. In some instances, when I’m sharing, she in turns shares her story. Thus the sharing cycle continues. Her vantage point becomes pieces of my own. I become more well-rounded and thorough in my thoughts. I then become a more layered individual, capable of having more resources to use for my future backdrops.
Every day you have the opportunity to impose positive and powerful movements in life. Every day you can be the catalyst between what makes life’s nuances endearing, empowering, and engaging. Own your stories. Transparently tell your stories. Know that your stories have meaning or else they would not exist. All of our stories together become the inner workings of life itself; its how we function; how we all continue to be great!