Your Story Matters. The truth that comes from the heart, poured out through words, carries a gift. Sometimes that gift is intended for New York Times Bestseller level audiences. Sometimes it saves the life of just one human who felt completely alone. Sometimes it matters to your own soul’s journey. Regardless of the size of audience, your story matters.
With a raw vulnerability, I stared into the eyes of the Women’s Conference and my heart longed for them to believe that one message. We compete, consciously or unconsciously, with the other humans in this race. (The human race. Coincidental word choice?) “Am I doing as well as… ?”, “Is my home on par with… ?”, ” Are my kids as well educated as…”, ” Is my life as impactful as…” and many more sentences flow through our heads like the background sounds of a forest stream. We each have our own scorecard that is unique to us. We tailor-made it from years of trying to survive – of trying to stay safe. I wanted, more than anything, for each woman to hear that the raw dirty truth of their journey mattered.
Those words came from a place of truth within myself.
I stepped up on that stage truly not knowing what I would say. Would I follow the slideshow or would I go rogue? Would my ego step up out of fear or would I be able to hear the whispers and trusted?
I gave the ladies an assignment.
“Write down 4 messages that they would use to reassure a hurting child or friend as they pour out their words to you. What words of active listening would you offer to tell them that you are listening and that it’s going to be ok? ” Without knowing why, these women took only a moment or two to come up with gentle words of compassion. Only then did I tell them ” When you start to hear the scripts that tell you ‘..people have it worse..’, ‘if I were stronger…’, ‘ what is my problem…’, ‘ I shouldn’t feel this way…’, ‘Why can’t I just get over it?’ the reassurances you long to hear are the ones you just wrote on that piece of paper. ”
With tears in my eyes, I desperately wanted each of those women to hear that they need self-compassion. Such a cliche word for such an important message. My spirit longed to have them see the chasm of difference between how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. What I wasn’t in tune with, at that moment, was the audience that my spirit was truly hoping would show up.
The exercise was for me.
This isn’t narcissism or egotism. It’s a truth duality. In my presentation, I reminded the audience that sometimes the best way to truly learn the wholeness of a subject is to teach it. My spirit needed me to hear that MY STORY MATTERED. It needed me to put down my scorecard and stop the Just Statements. You know the ones I mean. ” I am just ___”: a stay at home mom, an overweight ___, a middle class… The smallatisms go on and on. My inner core needed me to ease up on the reins that those Justs kept pulling back on and trust. Even at this very moment what my ego had planned on blogging today is not what the fingers have poured out. That is magical. The lesson I was to hear was to trust in my own whispered wisdom and breathe into scary, messy, raw truth of my story and NOT score it.
Stop the Story Olympics.
So I will accept the assignment I gave. I will use the Me that sat on those steps with tears pouring to be my listener, my witness, my companion. I will use the words of compassion and encouragement that were shared with all those other women to comfort my heart. I will remind myself of the divine energy I felt when I trusted the moment and didn’t try to make it Instagram Worthy. My messy, raw, often embarrassing, story matters. Step into telling the truth of it. It’s time!
Brace yourselves! 😉