It's crazy because lately the events in my life have been pointing towards one thing: the importance of telling a story.
I attended a musical last night titled "Right Here, Write Now" (fantastic use of talent to raise funds for a great cause, by the way) about a girl who felt like she had no story worth telling. Eventually, however, she realized that all the events in her life--big and small--culminated to one amazing story indeed: the story of her life.
How many of us carry that same attitude, reluctant to tell our stories or even to reflect on our own lives out of fear that we'd find nothing there, nothing valuable, inspiring, or extraordinarily heroic? How many of us are quick to judge others, forgetting that those surrounding us on a daily basis have their own stories too, reasons why they've become they way they are now?
When I was in high school I had the privilege of being part of a writing class that was very much like what you'd find in "Freedom Writers" (the book or movie). It wasn't about teaching students how to write 'properly'; it was about offering students an avenue to express themselves freely, to be received without judgement, a chance for students to tell their stories--no matter how mundane or moving they were. And instantly after hearing my classmates' stories, after all the masks were off, I realized one thing: "Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach, and wisdom to share."
If you think that nothing significant has happened in your life, think again. I firmly believe everyone has a story worth telling. From the smallest triumphs, to the most painful experiences overcome with courage and perseverance, everyone has displayed heroism in their lives.
THE TRAGEDY OF UNTOLD STORIES ...
The real tragedy is when these stories remain unheard. For every story that isn't told, the world is deprived of so much wisdom and insight. Often the people with the most inspiring stories aren't the people slapped on magazine covers, but those sitting beside us in class, in public transit, in malls--those we mistakenly call "ordinary people".
I'm talking about you and I.
I recall the moments I've been inspired by people--from conversations, listening to speakers, or watching dancers freestyle--and each of them struck me because they offered some sort of revelation: an insight about themselves, of who they were deep inside, of the stories that lay buried inside them and were burning to come out. They inspired me because they were perfect examples of authenticity--and to be authentic is always to be courageous. It's saying: "Never mind about everything I'm 'supposed' to be at the moment--this is who I am. Never mind all the things I'm supposed to have done--this is where I've come from. And I am not ashamed."
Look into yourself, into the story called "Your Life", and see it for what it is: a story of highs and lows, but ultimately of heroism displayed not only by you, but by God. Every experience you've had has been a learning opportunity, so share the lessons you've learned. Perhaps by opening up and being authentic, you'll give others permission to do the same.
And maybe when we remember that everyone around us also has a story, we'll stop treating them with judgement or accusation, but with compassion and understanding instead.
This world doesn't need another demand for perfection, another reason for division. What we really need is authenticity, a chance to connect. Together, we can do this.
TELL YOUR STORY ...
If you are feeling inspired to share your story, feel free to comment below (or share it your own way--privately to a friend, or perhaps a dance routine, or through a song you wanna write--ANYTHING). Also, any comments are welcome--comment below! =)
& please share this blog if you feel it's worth sharing!