One of the most common reasons people share stories is to connect with others. The circumstances of stories may vary but the underlying feelings are something everyone can understand. (Loss, love, rage, and joy are very relatable emotions.) Through story we find we are similar to others and not alone.
Telling our stories is not an end in itself, but an attempt to release ourselves from them, to evolve and grow beyond them. We tell our stories to transform ourselves; to learn about our history and tell our experiences to then transcend them; to use our stories to make a difference in our world; to broaden our perspective; to act beyond a story that may have imprisoned or enslaved us; to live more of our potential.
We also can’t wish old feelings away nor do spiritual exercises for overcoming them until we have a healing story that transforms our previous experiences and gives meaning to whatever pain we have endured.
Oprah said, “Everyone has a story and there is something to be learned from every experience.” Whether you know you have a story worth telling or have doubts as to its value, explore the many ways and reasons that your story matters—and why you need to tell it.
Note: If you are seeking sympathy from your story, it is not the time to tell it. There is more inside work to do.
May your stories enliven memories: may speaking them free you from their bondage.