There have been many unexpected positives to come out of sharing my stories. I’ve unknowingly worked a confidence muscle that was desperately wanting strength and definition. Each time I inched out of my warm, fuzzy bubble of comfort, I stood a little taller. My throat felt a smidge more relaxed. “That wasn’t so bad,” I’d say to myself. Then the whisper would come: “Keep going.” So, I’d share something a bit more personal. I’d feel a little queasy as I hit the “publish” button. “Well, it’s out there now.” I’ve repeated this cycle over and over for the past three years and I have to say that one hundred percent of the time the response to my work has been overwhelmingly positive. Contrary to what you’ve heard, there really are a lot of good people out there.
Speaking of good people, I’ve connected with so many people I never would have connected with had I not put my work into the world. My life has become so much bigger, brighter, and diverse. I have friends all over the world. I’m talking about REAL friends—people I can talk to at any time of day. We’re there for each other. I’ve met authors and thought leaders I admire. I’ve been mentored by people I respect. I’ve mentored people who resonate with what I’m sharing. The “me” of three years ago wouldn’t recognize this life. This is the good stuff—no—the great stuff!
There’s another side of sharing my stories that hasn’t been as great. Or I should say, I haven’t received as well. When you get vulnerable and share the “stuff” that you’ve gone through or more specifically, challenges that you’re continuing to work on, there are people who will come out of the woodwork to “help” or “advise.” For example, often I talk about how I continue to do healing work around my self-worth wounds. I get comments such as “maybe you should <insert a myriad of unsolicited advice>.” Or “I have a program that could help.” Or my least favorite, the varied and slightly patronizing versions of “poor you.”
Do I believe they are well-meaning? Most of the time, yes. But here’s the thing, I don’t need fixing. I’m simply sharing what’s going on in my world. I’m going to continue to grow, heal, learn, fail, pick myself up, and celebrate over and over. When I hit a “low,” I’m ok with being in that state. I’m not rushing to my “happy place.” If I do need help, I’ll reach out. I’m sharing this for the benefit of others wanting to share their own stories. Just know that self-appointed experts will try to rescue you. It’s like falling off a boat, being pulled to safety, and having people continue to throw life jackets at you. Um… I’m good, but thanks.
It got me thinking how we as humans don’t want others to hit their own “lows.” We want to save them from whatever painful experience they may be going through or heading towards. But the very thing we’re trying to save them from may be the EXACT thing needed for their Soul’s growth. We don’t know what’s best for them—even if we’ve gone through “exactly the same thing.” I’m not saying not to show kindness, empathy, and compassion, but maybe pump the brakes before tossing the life jacket.
That reminds me of another positive that’s come out of sharing my stories: I’m learning to let go of the need for control. What I type is almost never what I planned on, but it’s always what wants to emerge. I’m writing what I need to hear and it’s coming from a higher place. I’ve learned to get comfortable with that. If someone 2000 miles away needs to hear it too, well, that’s a wonderful synchronicity. But no matter what I write, I’m never, ever in need of fixing…and neither are you.