What’s Your Story?
“Women’s stories have not been told. And without stories there is no articulation of experience. Without stories a woman is lost when she comes to make the important decisions of her life. She does not learn to value her struggles, to celebrate her strengths, to comprehend her pain. Without stories she cannot understand herself. Without stories she is alienated from those deeper experiences of self and world that have been called spiritual or religious. She is closed in silence. The expression of women’s spiritual quest is integrally related to the telling of women’s stories. If women’s stories are not told, the depth of women’s souls will not be known. Stories give shape to our lives. As people grow up, reach plateaus, or face crises, they often turn to stories to show them how to take the next step. Women often live out inauthentic stories provided by a culture they did not create.” (Excerpt from Carol P. Christ’s book Diving Deep and Surfacing)
Think about your life.
Lean back and take a long deep look at your past. If you are anything like me I am sure it has its fair share of romance and tragedy, comedy and terror. So many of us are living proof of what strength, honor, courage and pain look like.
You, me, us all have our specific tapestry of life experiences and history that could rival many of the books we’ve read or shows we’ve watched. Yet, all too often we try and ignore our unique stories and hide them away from the world.
I spent my teen years as a tomboy and had decided to keep female friendships limited well into my twenties as they tended to be riddled with drama and I didn’t need that extra theatre in my life.
It was ultimately the thing that fueled and failed my first relationship. I had cut myself off from rich meaningful female friendships and adopted a role of independence, seclusion and disconnect.
It wasn’t until late in my twenties when I noticed how disconnected I was from the intimacy and depth that female friendships provided me that I started to actively seek out other women to connect with.
Though the friendships that were created were exceptional, I noticed that it was in our sharing of life experiences, stories and selves that the real magic took place. It was in hearing and sharing other women’s stories that helped to ground me again and find my own place in my life.
These were stories that affirmed my experience and pointed the way home to myself or allowed me to see life from a new vantage point and perspective.
There are so many stories that have not been spoken and I am personally indebted to the stories of the women in my life for not only making me who I am, but for what I am doing, and for what I plan to do in the future.
You as an individual and we as women have too many stories that have gone untold—stories that lay dormant within us that have the power to transform our sisters’ lives. Stories that need to be shared, heard, felt and understood. Stories that help you to survive, to grieve, to forgive, to heal, to love, to express and to celebrate life.
Stories that can let another woman know she is not crazy or alone in her experience of life.
I believe we need these stories as much as we need air. As much as the deserts need the rain. We on the whole as women are parched from lack of sharing and we are thirsty for what you have to say.
From the various women I’ve worked with I can tell you that when we hear your stories, when we see them and taste them, we literally absorb them with every fiber of our being and allow them to strengthen the parts of ourselves that are weak, mend the parts that feel broken and encourage the parts that feel ready. We allow ourselves to be nourished by them and make us feel whole. In a way the stories you share with the people in your life ultimately create the rich soil for the seeds of other women’s stories to sprout and blossom.
So given that we know this makes a difference, why are we all so afraid to share? To talk about it all and express the amazingly great parts and the horribly painful parts?
Most of us are waiting for someone else to go first, for someone else to start the trend. If you are reading this email right now then take this as a sign that it’s your turn to start the movement and to create the ripple effect for all of us women. In a way many of us are waiting for someone else to start dancing first but the truth is we are all dying to dance.
You are an ambassador for other women or you wouldn’t be reading this right now, you always have been and though it is terrifying, I promise you it is worth it.
I could run though all the great reasons why you should do it, what you will get out of it and especially how it will make you feel. I could even get nitty-gritty about how and what to share. Instead in the spirit of spring and playfulness, I think I’ll forgo all of that for a simple call to action, one that we are all familiar with and know exactly what it means. So here it is…
Tag your it.
You know what to do next.