It’s a layer deeper than owning it. Sharing it is claiming it.

Have you ever been in the grocery store and you see a familiar face across the aisle? You look down, turn your cart in the opposite direction and cautiously check before you enter every other aisle for the rest of your shopping experience? You know what I am taking about! Why do we do this? Plain and simple sometimes we just don’t want to share our story, big or small. We don’t want to answer the questions, repeat the narrative or get “the look” of pity.

When we avoid sharing our story, the book of our lives begins to claim its own narrative and the story that others “read” begins to spin a tale of its own. There is power in sharing our stories. Not in the physical sense of the word, but in the fact that we breathe life into the words. We stop the assumptions and the whispers, and most often, if we want the noise of our story to quiet, it is best accomplished when we speak the narrative of it with confidence and the detail that is most appropriate coming from us.

Now just to clarify, sharing our story is not about wallowing in the self pity nor is it the constant rehashing of feelings of injustice or being wronged. The purpose of owning and sharing our story is not to make us feel “right” and “justified” as we revel in the feelings of bitterness. The purpose of owning our story and willingly sharing it is not so that we can be the voice front and center. Our purpose in sharing is that speaking aloud gives us confidence to breathe again, move again, build again. And with that confidence we earn the right and the ability to show empathy when needed. Sharing our story is more about building a heart of resilience so we can listen more clearly to the story of someone else, and less about talking the loudest so we can feel vindicated.

Our purpose is to use our stories to help others, and we can do this best coming from a place of forgiveness. Sharing our story gives us power in our lives. Not so we become the loudest, proudest most obnoxious and toxic person in the room. But rather so we can become the best listener.

Sharing our story gives us the power to help heal a broken or hurting heart of someone else who is not yet to the hearing part of their journey.

And it’s funny really, when we share to listen and listen to heal, our own heart heals as well.

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