“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you” — Maya Angelou
The first time I read those particular words from Ms. Angelou, I knew exactly what she meant. Too many people live as though their lives aren’t a story worth telling. What’s worse is knowing that there’s something inside of you that you just can’t share because of fear or of a perceived lack of capability. But, the whole point of everything that I do isn’t to tell my story; it’s to tell the whole world: TELL YOUR STORY!
There are actual treatment programs designed around personal story-telling. I know one, Narrative Therapy, that basically does little more that have participants write the stories that make them who they are. The point of Narrative Therapy is express that untold story that may be to unbearable to keep inside any longer. The thing is, content is what’s important, not grammar or spelling. To me, fear of “being right” prevents people from taking up the pen. It’s almost as though they become paralyzed with fear of judgment. It’s like every time they start to tell their story, they automatically go into school mode and become worried about some sexually repressed English teacher lighting up their story with so much red ink that it glows in the dark. So, because of all the fear and worry, people keep their story locked away inside themselves.
What’s more important, though, than telling your story is to that your life is a story worth telling. If you think I’m wrong, think about it: How much have you overcome to get to the current place in your life? I’m willing to bet that you’ve experienced pain and hurt and worry, yet you still get up every day and face the needs that your days bring you. I bet there’s been good times that make you smile when you reflect back on them and I’m sure there are those things you’ve done that make you shake your head in disbelief. I have no doubt that you’re complex and often misunderstood. Well, tell your story; when you do, you’ll see how incredible a story your life really is. You’ll see that the bad things and the good things and the mundane things that make you “you” have been important because they happened. Period. Life is an amazing miracle and I think we all get so lost in our “have to do’s” and the “wish we coulds” that we don’t recognize that we do in fact matter very much.
And we do matter. We are loved more than we’ll ever know and when we see our stories for the powerful truth they are, we share our love and we build a more complete world. Tell your story. Share it with someone. Let go of the agony of carrying your untold story.