“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou                              

It’s amazing the types of experiences –good and bad-that contribute to our individual life stories. We’ve all endured some joyful, painful, heart-breaking, and tragic experiences that have shaped our lives. But these experiences, as painful as they were, are experiences unique to us because they are a part of our life story. Despite these experiences appearing as a setback, they may have been necessary for our forward progression. Life deals us all very different circumstances and experiences that once we make it through them, we should have one helluva of a story to tell. But, why DON’T people tell their stories? Many don’t tell their personal stories because they are fearful of being judged or are embarrassed and ashamed, so they bury their stories within. But burying our stories within doesn’t benefit us or others. It actually downplays our strength because it doesn’t credit us for having the ability to overcome life’s obstacles. Has life given you a story to tell? Do you tell the story? Have you ever thought of yourself as being a “STORYTELLER”?  Maybe you should!! So for this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about the importance of telling our stories and being a STORYTELLER.

It is my belief that our experiences are unique to us for a reason and that reason is for us to tell our stories. Telling our personal stories gives others on a similar journey the hope and encouragement needed for them to endure. For instance, telling your story of growing up in foster care, can assist someone else in navigating the foster care system. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling your story of becoming a teen parent can help struggling teen parents. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling your story of being incarcerated, may help those traveling down the wrong path to avoid incarceration. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling your story of being homeless can assist others in averting homelessness. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling your story of being in an abusive relationSHIP, may help others find the strength to escape their abusive relationSHIPS. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling your story of being molested, may give others the courage to tell someone they are being molested. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling your story about being addicted to drugs, may motivate someone to start on their road to recovery. Help them!! Become a STORYTELLER and tell your story. Telling our stories helps others because it lets them know they are not alone!!

While watching “Behind Every Man” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel, I saw Crystal Smith, the wife of the musical artist Ne-Yo (Shaffer Chimere Smith) transform into a STORYTELLER as she shared her painful childhood experiences. Her candor regarding the difficulties she’d experienced was impactful. Her willingness to become a STORYTELLER inevitably will encourage and inspire young ladies in similar situations to transform their lives. Telling our personal stories makes us human. Telling our personal stories makes us relatable. Telling our personal stories empowers us and others. Telling our stories helps us better understand others and ourselves. Telling our stories can help us and others to grow but we have to be willing to tell our stories. We first must be willing to become a STORYTELLER.

No matter who you are or where you are from, you have a story to tell. We all have a story inside of us which means we are all STORYTELLERS. So, the question then becomes are you willing to help others by telling your story and becoming a STORYTELLER?

SHIP TALK: What’s your story? Who would be helped if you told your story?

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