Saturday, May 3, 2014

OWN YOUR STORY, EVEN IN THE DARK




I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how many years I have put off pursuing my dream of becoming a writer, and then I had a realization this morning….I AM a writer and always have been, and I have stories to tell, words to write, thoughts to share.

I have been waiting for the world to validate me, to tell me that I am “officially” accepted as a writer, to acknowledge my presence, my existence.  Here’s the revelation I received today….I am here, I am alive, I have a purpose and it’s time that I stop thinking that I need to be better or more polished or more refined before I put myself out there. It’s not that I am pursuing BECOMING a writer, but more that I need to develop the writer within me and be willing to open myself up to sharing those words, thoughts and stories with others. 

There are other people feeling the same way I do, who are scared to pursue their dreams, to step out of the box, out of their comfort zone, to be who they really are, to tell their stories, to share their pain, to be vulnerable.  Vulnerability is scary, but to quote Brené Brown author of “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live,Love, Parent & Lead,” she says that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”  (See her TED talk that started it all here: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Another of my favorite quotes from Brené is this reminder of how important it is for us to own our story and to embrace our vulnerabilities. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”


I usually talk myself out of a blog post by convincing myself that no one really cares what I have to say and probably won’t read it.  A blog is defined as a website containing a writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websitesNotice that not only is a blog your personal diary of your experiences but it’s also meant to “link” you to other places AND people.  There is someone out there who needs to hear my story, your story.  You may not be a writer or called to write, but you know someone who is who can help you share your story with those people who need to hear it.

I feel strongly that part of my call to write is not only to tell MY story but to lend my writing abilities to those who want to tell their own.  I will be sharing a blog post with my readers later this month of a dear friend who has a story to tell, and I am so honored that she has agreed to be my first interview in my “Stay Calm, Just Tell Your Story,” Series.     

It’s time we realize that the purpose for our pain may be to help someone else through a difficult time.  Our struggle, our brokenness could be that one common thread that causes us to connect with someone who needs us, or that we need in our lives for a reason or for a season.  Who knows, that one experience, or struggle, or devastating loss we experienced but are afraid to reveal might save someone’s life.  Not in a life or death way, but it could be by revealing our pain, our fears and doubts, our difficulties, that could give someone else that encouragement they need to not give up, to not stop hoping, dreaming or believing.  
      

So often, we think we have to wait for the “perfect” time to do something, no matter what our calling or passion.  We tell ourselves, “I will write when things in my life aren’t so hectic,” or “Maybe when I’m not facing so many struggles, my mind will be clearer and then I can share my story.”  I know, because these are things that I have been telling myself for years.  It has been my excuse, my crutch, my reason for never moving forward.  Our greatest growth usually comes in the valley, in our brokenness, when you are going through the pain, the loss, the struggle.  That is the time to write or tell your story because as Brené Brown so wisely and eloquently states, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”