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Our Beautiful And Painful Stories
Some time ago, a friend mentioned that she loves sitting with people who are authentic and vulnerable, showing her what love looks like. I soon found myself doing exactly that, and loving every minute of it! It was a weekend of authenticity, connection, shared stories, and vulnerable confessions from the heart with friends, family, neighbors, and strangers.
One of my favorite moments of vulnerability from the weekend was when a woman I’ve known for many years shared with a large group of women a few of her past personal struggles. Over the years, I’ve often driven by her gorgeous home and thought to myself, “She has the perfect home and the perfect little family. She has it all.” Little did I know of the constant struggles she faced with the majority of her children.
Year after year after year.
As I listened to her tearfully share the lessons she learned from these experiences, I was filled with immense compassion for her. Compassion and respect for everything she’s been through, and admiration for the person she’s become. She didn’t let the past get the best of her, and she has great hope for the future.
The next time I drive past her house, I just might tear up a bit as I reflect upon the “perfect” life that turned out to not be so perfect after all. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even drop off a bouquet of flowers. Afterall, she deserves an extra dose of love and encouragement. We all do.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to hear the stories of the people around you? The story of your kind neighbor, the woman who cut you off in traffic, the teenager serving time in prison, the person who just made headline news? What led them to become who they are today?
How might our impressions of them change if we knew their story? How might hearing stories bring more light and hope into the world?
When was the last time you heard someone’s story?
When was the last time you shared your own?
Day 29 Challenge: Invite someone to share part of their story with you. Later, share a portion of your story with someone else. See if doing so doesn’t change your perspective on humanity. Take a few minutes to record in your journal a memorable moment from your life.
This is Day 29 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days to an Authentic Life.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please click HERE.