It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.
When I was first married, my husband, Steven, and I moved to his hometown of Baton Rouge, La. We spent a lot of time doing fun "couple things" with one of Steven's closest friends and his girlfriend. I am not sure how the subject of anxiety and panic attacks came up with the girlfriend, but it did. I couldn't believe it! Someone was opening up about the same issues I struggled with for years. Side note; let me date myself and say this was 1991, and no one was talking about mental health. It was a taboo subject.
The relief I felt in being able to share my story was monumental. Up to this point, only my family, husband, and therapist knew about my anxiety and panic attacks. The girlfriend and I talked about our fears, concerns, and even our worst episodes. In a way, it normalized the anxiety and made me feel less alone. It was freeing to say the least.
One of my favorite quotes about sharing our stories and being a part of a community comes from Parker Palmer.
"When we present ourselves to the world as smooth and seamless, we allow each other no way in, no way into life together. But as we acknowledge and affirm that the cross is the shape of our lives, we open a space within us where community can occur. And in that empty space, in that solitude at the center of the cross, the One who created us whole makes us whole again."
The cross of our lives. What's your cross? Do you have a story that feels difficult to share? It is hard to be brave and vulnerable and open ourselves up. There is no denying it, but the liberation of owning your story and telling it to another person is incredible. I wrote about sharing our stories in a previous post, Called and community, in the post, Sit with Community.
My favorite, Brené Brown, talks endlessly about the importance of sharing our stories, and I agree with the following quote one hundred percent. "When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending." Brené Brown
So, as a part of my new website, I created The Imperfect Journey Community!
"Welcome to The Imperfect Journey Community. Let us walk the path of healing and transformation together by encouraging and inspiring one another. This community is a safe space to share your experiences and know that you are not alone on your Imperfect Journey. In community, we can travel together to strengthen each other."
The Imperfect Journey Community invites fellow travelers to share stories of healing, growth, and transformation to inspire and encourage others on their Imperfect Journey.
I intend to publish a guest post once a month for those who want to share their imperfect journey story. I believe everyone has a story that can help someone else feel less alone. It can bring hope, healing, and inspiration. You never know who will be touched!
I would love to hear from YOU! Consider sharing your story to grow The Imperfect Journey Community. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com. Let us walk alongside one another and uplift each other on this Imperfect Journey called life.
Blessings to you, the cross of your lives, sharing your story, and brave new endings!
Walking the Journey with You,