Spiritual Direction, Writing

Why You Need to Own and Share Your Story


Why do you need to tell your story? Aside from the “because I have a right to tell it and to be heard.” Because you, after a season of anguish or exhultation, must exhort, share, so that others will be prepared for the time when they experience an altogether different though similar story that is uniquely designed for them but could possibly have their suffering eased, if but a tiny bit, because they know they are not alone on this earthly realm. Because of you. Because of a story they heard once about you. You. Who went through “it” too. Because you spoke up. Because you let it all hang out.

High or low. Sharing stories give us a running chance at handling, wrestling with, pulling through, dodging, slogging, or even waiting until we catch up to the present where the story will allow us to move (sometimes forward) again.

Some folks suffer when they don’t share their experience, thoughts, intuitive glimmers and holy accounts and feel will implode if all is held within. Some feel they were absolutely created to tell stories. Sometimes fictional stories, some real and personal down to the knit and grit. Some are made to motivate and encourage and some are made to lull or take you down the rabbit hole of Once Upon a Time. Some find it hard to put words together at all. Stumbling, whispering, divulging. Eyes cast down. Their hand shading themselves from the light covering any facial expression, avoiding eye contact that might give their vulnerability away. But many just need to share. Need an ear. Connection. A little grace from the other. This is you as well.  Providing the hand grasp to survivial as the able listener. One recounting at a time.

Your stories are bread crumbs helping you to track your steps from how you got to where you are now. Not about getting “it” right. Which we may never get right. (What’s “right”? I know naught of “right”.) But we can suit up when we find ourselves shown up to something we didn’t know we were to attend. Notice I didn’t say suit up, then show up. Life is one big fat surprise every day. Aye there’s the rub. Why else would there be so many desperate to find anyone to tell them anything about their future? So many out there giving you some kind of magic “insight”, they say, of what will happen when you walk out that door. Then cap it with “but anything can happen, you control your destiny, you create your reality, oh sure, Honey, you could change this…but…these are what the cards say….” Yep. And then you get the bill.

I’m not talking about money spent on the soothsayer. I’m talking about a much more expensive itemized invoice: fear, confusion, and victimhood to begin the long list of unnecessary despair. And people pay for this! I know. I was one of those people for so long who went to this and that “reader/psychic/bullsh–er.” And it chipped away at my soul me every. single. time. Because nothing ever turns out the way that Know-It-All painted in your head and thank God for that. Un-fortune-ately, the misery of the seeds of hopelessness that are planted, ever so subtly, can become a lifelong companion if you choose to believe the wrong self-serving individual. (Fortune Tellers have their stories, too.)

Do you know what psychics do for a living? They rob you of your story. They take your pain or joy and they reverse it.

And they give you an ending, raise or lower your expectations (either way it’s never good enough), and they become narrator to something they know nothing about. No-thing. What’s worse is that this “future” they paint in one minute, slowing and unpredictable, creeps out snaking away that hopeful outlook you were praying for that mistakenly led you to your need to know your future in the first place. You are more likely to derive hope, inspiration and the impulse to make an empowered decision in your life by looking at a stunning horizon, remembering a favorite song, reading Dr. Seuss, Shakespeare, the Bible, or just talking to someone who truly gets you – all for free I might add – than by giving your hard earned money to some soothsayer you’ve never met, who has no stake in your experience or personal background much less your inner worth.

Living your life with faith that you are and will consistently be loved takes daily, hourly, and in the testing times, momentary courage.

The doses of needed courage will go up and down depending on the angle of the present roller coaster. You build strength in your not knowing what the heck is going to happen to you but deciding how your going to aim at the targets and with what power and ease you’ll release the arrows. Indeed, there is strength in the weakness. Just to be clear, I’m talking about targets (i.e. goals) here. Not shooting arrows at people. People are not targets at which to be aimed with your arrows.

So in your weakness you, somehow, through your courageous willingness, remain steady and release the arrow. After that, my friends, it’s up to the wind. And you can’t do a blasted thing about it. THAT’S LIFE BABY! That’s the kick in the pants, triathlon, sweet surrender surprise of the day to day in this multitudinous mystery of love.

But here’s the best part: you have YOUR story. Your part. Your unique series of chapters. Don’t allow anyone to author it but you and the One who made you. What we are talking about here is a good ole dose of prescribed trust with entrusted ownership.

Before we tell our stories, we must own them. However ownership may be implied. Because, hey, even though it happened to you, you may not automatically accept it or, in the best of worlds, cherish and treasure it as the prolific journey that has made you the glorious you God created you to be.

And that’s the hard part. Because you might feel your story is not one of the miraculous, the hilarious, the Ohhhh-My-Gaw-That-Just-Happennnned ilk and so you might suffer under the hypnosis of comparison, selective amnesia, blatant denial or, God help you, the worst: self loathing. Which in turn can seduce you down the road of utter despair – and my prayer would be for you that that would morph into a story to be told when you have been about-faced. The heroic emergence from your personal underground amongst the sewer rats.

Bearing now a light so bright it blinds but doesn’t hurt because you’re in desperate want of vitamin D. Sprung free out from under that thicketed bushel. A light to be shined. You have suffered for a while. Maybe a long long while. But joy came for you in the morning of a new life. You’re right. You will never be the same again.

And I say, Hallelujah.

And now, what a story you have to share.
And what a sin to hoard it.
You are a walking living miracle.
Someone is needing to know it.