Tuesday, 3 March 2015

How to Share Your Story and Why You Should Part II

If you missed Part I, you can check it out here

Every time I drive by a graveyard I am consumed with the thought that each person who has passed away had a story. Some with a story of tragedy, others comedy, romance, or action... most with a bit of each. Those stories live on in some capacity, in the memories of those who knew the person. And yet, most of the stories are lost.

We can often go through life without recognizing what we have been given. We rush through, from one thing to the next, without stopping to think, reflect, and learn more about ourselves. In an effort to remain connected, we often forget to say and do the things that really bring us together.

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote, “Courage is found in unlikely places.” Anyone who has told his story knows that courage is found in the first pen stroke on a blank piece of paper. It is found in the eyes of your family as you share “of a time when...” It is found in the laughter and in the tears. Courage is found when we pry open the locked doors around our souls to let others peek in.

It is found in the unlikely places.

You may be thinking, “I have nothing to tell. My life is normal, boring, nothing special.” But I can tell you that you are wrong. You have a view of this world that is completely unique to you. You feel and see things in a way that others cannot. And by holding back, diminishing your story, you forfeit the ability for anyone to catch a glimpse of your experiences of things. You have loved and lost in a way that no one else quite has. You are the sole key holder.

So how do you share your story, especially when you feel you have very little to tell? Here are a few suggestions to get you started...

1// Journal

Ever wish you could hear the stories straight from the mouth of your great grandmother? I do. I would love for a long lost notebook to show up and to hear of the daily living from years past. And someday, someone will feel the same about you. Write with honesty, in a way that when you look back you are put in that place again. When you journal you can see progress, direction and a holistic picture of yourself. Journaling in itself is therapeutic, it is a way to reflect, but it also provides a first hand account of who you are.

2// Start Small

No, you do not need to call a meeting with all of your friends and family and start sharing every intricate area of your life. Rather, try to be aware of your stories. What do you leave out? Why? Do you tend to only tell certain pieces of your story? Start to think about the things you have told others and the things you have not. Try to be aware of your story, where you have come from and where you want to go, and let others into that process.

3// Find Someone You Trust

I find that many of my most meaningful stories are told late at night. I speak truth, and let others in. It is not so much the time of day, but rather a setting, a place of trust. There are people in my life who I can share with and I make room for these same people to give me advice and ask questions about my story. Do not give this space to everyone. There are people that will try to speak into your life, to affect your story, who have no right to do so. Be choosey but make sure you do let people in with full permission to interact with and add to your story.

The most important thing to recognize is that you have a voice, and you should use it. No matter what your age, you have a life that needs to be shared. The act of storytelling is not only for the listener. It is for you. It allows you to see a holistic picture of where you have been and to give you a better idea of where you are going. 

Your story is important. So, will you tell it?

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