How to Free Yourself Through the Power of Your Story.
Stories are for sharing. They can entertain us, they can give us chills down our spines, they can make us melt into a puddle of compassion. Stories move us.
Stories are how we are able to relate. And they are a deep well of inspiration.
You have a story in you too, waiting to be told. We all have. Telling your story can be quite cathartic and so damn freeing.
I have people seek me out as their coach because they feel they’re stuck somewhere in their mind and life, and because they want to change that.
You know why people get stuck? Because they have stories stuck in them.
Stories of anger and failure stuck in their bellies. Narratives of hurt and grief stuck in their hearts. Tales of excuses and shame stuck in their throat.
It is important, I’d even go as far to say vital, to get them out! Share them. It is important to express yourself. Spread your message. Many folks say, “I don’t know what my message is! I probably don’t have any…” Chances are, they’ve kept their story bottled up and hidden from the world. Through the process of telling your story, you learn so much about yourself.
If you’re one of these “I believe I don’t have anything to say” people:
Your message needs air to breathe. It develops like a flower; it needs oxygen and light. How do you give it that? Start writing. The more you get off your chest, blue ink on white paper, re-visitable because you wrote it out, the more space your create for your message to sprout, to grow.
Your message needs to be watered. How do you do that? You water your message with trust that it is important (and that it exists, to begin with).
I don’t say that telling your story is the same as identifying through it. I don’t say finding your message is done in a weekend, and afterwards it will remain the same for the rest of your life. Don’t approach it as something to tick off your to-do list: Finding my message? Check. I shall never be bothered with this again.
Life is a fluid thing. If you flow with it, it’ll change you. If you fight against change, you get stuck again. Your message and story are not set in stone either.
You tell your story. And you tell it again. You see a pattern. And you retell the story. You witness how with every time you’re telling your story, your role in it changes. Once upon a time you were a victim, and then there’ll be the moment when you notice that the same you in that same story somehow morphed into a hero. That’s quite a transformative experience in itself.
You might object that your life doesn’t make for a good story. That it isn’t glorious, that there aren’t even hints of anything heroic. No epic shit, no life-altering breakthroughs. And you still haven’t achieved enlightenment.
Your story is full of shame, frustration, shitty experiences and no real progress, you say? It has generous amounts of failure, resistance and darkness, you say?
Well, the messiest stories are the most inspiring ones. You can’t even fathom just how many people need to know about your story. Who can intimately relate to what you describe. And who are yearning to connect with others who get them.
Plus, messy is honest.
The amount of hardship, trauma, bad luck, self-sabotage, disappointment, hurt, etc. you’ve experienced, makes you real. You don’t have to wait until you got the lesson. You don’t have to keep silent until you’ve wrapped your mind around it and cleaned up the mess to present the world a sanitized version of you and your experience.
So much is numb and fake and overly clean and censored. We crave raw and real. We crave what’s here, without anything added or taken away.
You could go ahead and share your story with a friend, with your therapist or your local fellow witches. You could share your story with your blog readers or your cat. You could even start by telling it to a lamp post on your way home from work.
I once had a tree, a beautiful and very patient birch. I’d stop by her when walking the dog, and I’d tell her my fears. I’d cry and I’d lean on her strong birch body and get grounded again. That was before I started writing. That was how I began telling my story. To a tree.
When I began writing, I tried to write what I assumed people would like to read.
Eventually my writing changed. Honestly, I was simply desperate and fed up with the rainbow BS pretense bit of me and the rest of mankind.
I then wrote from a very messy place in my heart. My heart was bleeding, and it was confused and scared. Most of all though, this heart of mine had gotten really angry. Unable to hold back anymore, I’d write very raw posts, scared to press Publish and prepared for all hell to break loose.
What actually happened was: I received tons of love and “me too!”s.
Your story is so worth telling. Everyone has a story to tell. And it’s not on you to judge yours as not presentable. There’s no such thing as a not presentable story. It’s what shaped you. And a lot of strength, resilience, and truth is revealed in telling your story. Sharing your story is an act of grace. Sharing your pain, your passion, your dreams. The frustration and the shame bits. Especially the shame bits.
By expressing fear and shame, exposing it to the light, you actually free yourself, as opposed to keeping silent about it, which will always keep you in a very confined and small space in which you’ll barely be able to be all of you.
It’s like deconstructing a prison you’ve been kept in for too long.
So, given your willingness to share the bits that your ego would rather want you to withhold (aka keeping your prison intact), telling your story is ultimately a very liberating act of disobeying (your ego and all and any conventions) with grace.
Lina Boldt is a coach and writer. She has a Ninja-warrior survival record, and can often be found in the thick of deep transformational work, which made her gain quite some expertise in breakdowns and breakthroughs. Her current mission is all about surrender, and she can’t live without chocolate. You can connect with her via her website or Facebook, where she also hosts a ‘Disobey with grace’ group.