Why We Really Need to Tell Our Stories

My good friend and author Susan Westbrook, of the extraordinary new book The Five TibetansYoga Workshop, believes that “We tell our story so others will tell theirs.” It is in telling our story that we give others permission not only to tell theirs, but if we do it right, sharing with an open heart and deep vulnerability, then they will share their story the same way.

But sharing our stories honestly and with integrity isn’t always easy to do.

Last week, at a conference of transformational leaders and visionaries from around the globe, I had the opportunity to speak to the concern of being vulnerable and authentic in storytelling.

I shared with the audience how difficult that experience was for me. I wrote no less than six drafts of my story for the Amazon bestseller, Pebbles in the Pond –Wave 2. I think the actual number was eight, with the final version coming out in draft nine. Each draft took me deeper into the land of vulnerability and opening my heart. Each draft brought me closer to the truth of who I was. You see, by committing to writing this story, I had also made a commitment to myself. Sharing my story has certainly given others a place of comfort in sharing theirs, but it also gave me a chance to know myself better; to take responsibility for my life, and to finally begin to live as an empowered woman, not a victim.

Writing and sharing my story was a spiritual practice; one that brought me profound inner healing. 

What I didn’t share at the conference last week was that writing my story was not something I consciously chose to do. Just like being awoken from the repressed feelings of my abortion when I had a miscarriage, the sharing of my story was something that chose me.

I spent years doing the inner work I needed to do to heal from my abortion. And yet each time I thought I was done with it, I received a message from the Universe gently letting me know that there was still much more work around this subject that needed to be addressed. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t escape it. My grandmother’s confession was my first realization of that, but over time the message was felt in other ways as well.

Never in a million years did I imagine I would write about pregnancy loss, abortion and our unborn children – definitely all of them suppressed, stigmatized and “woo woo” subjects. I was forty years old before I knew that my life’s work would include a significant component of energy around these experiences. Even then I did not envision that I would be writing about them for the whole world to read.

But this thing that I did not imagine, it kept coming back to me. Just when I thought I was done dealing with my abortion, my unborn daughter, or my grandmother’s startling news she shared with me, these events would weave their way into my prayers and dreams and remind me of their presence, of their stories and of their love.

Yes, it is true that I tell my story so others can more easily tell theirs. I also tell my story as a conduit so that my grandmother’s story and my unborn daughter’s presence can be acknowledged and appreciated. You see, for in doing so, in listening to the inner promptings to open my heart and let out the good, the bad, and the ugly, I find I am transformed as well.

Thank you Mor-Mor and Mary, for reminding me of this fact last week.



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