How often do we discount our experiences? All of our heartaches, trials, and challenges? It's so easy to fall into our own pits of despair and think we're not good enough. Someone said something that was hurtful and we let that hold us back. Or no matter which way we turn, we can never seem to get ahead.
We hold onto those struggles or failures and think we couldn't possibly offer anything of value. No one would want to hear our stories, right? Or maybe we worry about what others will think of us when we share our stories. Will they still like us? Will they look at us differently? Will they think we're just a bunch of frauds or weirdos?
Or here's another one: do we worry about "airing our dirty laundry"? Social media has made it so easy to provide a little too much information to the world. There's no denying that. But sometimes sharing our story in a way that inspires other people or gives them hope requires a little bit of transparency. The tough times we went through, those things we don't want to talk about, other people are going through them, too.
Life is messy sometimes. We all have our vices that make things a bit harder. But when it comes to hardships, we're not unique. Hardships happen to everyone. They may look differently and come in different degrees, but they affect everyone.
The beauty in all of this though is that it's through our experiences that we're able to connect with others and help them see the light at the end of their own tunnel. But we need to have learned something valuable from those experiences. We need to follow up with a reason for people to have hope. If we're just airing our dirty laundry, venting and letting our frustration take over, we're just spouting negativity. But if we have learned something valuable from our experiences and we've come away a better person, we have the opportunity to spread hope. Hope that, if we've gone through it and survived, then others can, too.
This world needs more storytellers. Storytellers who aren't afraid to share their stories to spread hope and share the light. Storytellers who can use their own personal experiences to let others know that they are not alone.
Do you have a story to tell? I bet you do. Are you willing to share it?