I’m Not Afraid of My Story

June 28, 2016

I’m not afraid of my story. Not because it’s filled with success and glory and gold stars all around… but because it’s laced with depression and anxiety, loss, and the most challenging kind of grief. Because it’s filled to the brim with spectacular mistakes and missteps, as well as ridiculously bad decisions. Because it’s colored by heartbreak, abuse, suicide, and toxic relationships. Because it’s messy and challenging and has, at times, ripped me clean in two.

I’ve done the dumbest things.
I’ve hurt people in ways I’m far from proud of.
I’ve lied and cheated and stolen.
I’ve bent and folded and let others take pieces of me.
I’ve fallen, more times than I can count.

But no, I’m not afraid of my story.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

I am deeply in love with my story.
Truly, madly, deeply.

Every part of it.

The more deeply I’ve allowed myself to dive into the dark parts, the places most won’t even consider looking, the more in love with life I’ve become. The more I’ve grown and shifted and come home to myself. The more fully I’ve allowed myself to feel all the feels that come with loss and heartbreak and the challenges of this life, in all the ways many choose to avoid, the more vibrant and beautiful and absolutely amazing my life and relationships have become. And the more fully I’ve told the truth, in my words and actions and the way I live my life, the more I’ve been able to step into who I’m here to be and the work I’m here to do.

And the more I’ve chosen to tell the truth and share my story, the more people I’ve been able to serve and support in a very powerful way.

Because I’m not afraid to admit that I’m imperfect, that I struggle, or that life has thrown me curveballs. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve been to hell and back, and that I’m doing the best I can in each moment, just like everyone else.

And you… I’m not afraid of your story either.

I’m one of those people that others tend to open up to… deeply and nearly immediately after meeting. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of casual meet-and-greet conversations that turned into deep talks about love or loss. The business meetings that went from logos to skeletons in the closet or pasts laced with shame and regret. And all the moments where people get honest about what they really desire, their biggest, scariest hopes, and dreams for this life.

I love it.

I love every story of heartbreak and loss. I love hearing about the stupid decisions and the things people are least proud of. I love to hear about the ways we hurt others and why we didn’t know any better at the time.

I love to know people, through and through.
To hear where they’ve been and where they want to go.
To see their tears and feel their truth in my bones.

I love the moments when people show me they’re real. When they take down the walls or polished facades and show me their scars. All the places where life kicked them around and left marks as it passed.

And mostly, I love the moments where people exhale a breath of pure relief… because they’ve given light to what was tucked away in the darkness, in the cracks of their soul, the crevices of their heart.

Our stories have the power to own us if we let them.

They have the power to eat us alive from the inside out. To lace our cells with cancer and disease. To tear us down from the weight of it all. They have the power to color our days and bring fear to our hearts.

They also have the power to set us free.

To show us what it really means to deeply connect with another human. To heal our hearts and mend our biggest wounds. They have the power to serve the world in a greater way than we could ever imagine on our own. To give others permission, to show them they’re not alone, and to bond us all together as we navigate the ridiculousness of life.

So, don’t be afraid of your story.
Share it loud and proud.
Own it, every single moment.
And let it set you free.

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