Story is a buzz word in our world today.
Why is sharing our stories so important? Because sharing our life experiences and feelings help us know ourselves and be known by others. We all long for connection and telling our stories makes us feel known and understood.
Telling our stories takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable. We often edit our stories, not telling the stuff we don’t want to own up to, fearing others might think less of us. But being perfect isn’t what connects us. It’s vulnerability. Telling the truth about who we are and who we are not.
Here are some helpful tips about sharing our stories:
Focus on a single life shaping experience: If people ask, “What’s your story?” they usually mean, “What has shaped you into who you are today?” This could be anything from a parent’s divorce to a child’s disability to your passion to start a new business. Most involve some sort of conflict or challenge. Try focusing on a single experience.
Explore your emotions and include them. When you are feeling angry, sad, disappointed or annoyed, stop and ask yourself, “What’s this about? What’s my real issue here?” With a little digging you may find the core of the issue is not what it originally seemed. Describe these emotions and your process of self discovery in your story.
Embrace YOUR unique story because it is meant to be told. Embracing who you are means revealing even the hard parts because that may be exactly what someone else needs to hear. To normalize her challenge. To know God. To feel connected and valued. We find ourselves in each others stories, and healing happens when we share our stories.