I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie while we were both attending graduate school at the University of Montana. She is a dedicated storyteller and has been sharing some of her writing and meditation practice on her blog visibleandreal.wordpress.com Stephanie is deeply inquisitive and is again pursuing graduate studies, this time in a counseling program in Maryland. I have appreciated the support and friendship she has provided for me in the writing I do here and am very pleased to welcome her as a guest poster.
Owning and sharing my story is important.
There are so many times I want to deny what I have experienced. Maybe because it's not pretty, or because I feel redness seeping into my cheeks as I even think about sharing. Or perhaps it is, as I've even found when writing this affirmation, I find myself thinking, "Who cares? What does it matter to anyone else?"
I have to remind myself that it is important. It matters.
For me, part of the challenge has been in learning to own my story. Yet, when I am able to own it, I know it in the way that my movements and words embody the story and honors my truth. It's the difference between trying to push the truth behind me so no one sees it or letting it become simply a part of who I have become - just like my strands of gray hair and the laugh lines around my eyes.
The second hardest part? Sharing my story. Yet, the moments I am able to be honest and share what I thought no one would understand or want to hear have brought the most unexpected people closer. I've begun to learn that when I share my story, I give permission to others to tell theirs. Whether in a small whisper or a loud "ME TOO!" - I have allowed space for truth to be seen and recognized.
This is how we come to know ourselves and know others.
My story is important. Your story is important.
The world needs our voices.