Healing Through Story
I know most people typically wait until they’re on the other side of recovery to open up and share. I know even more people choose to never share.
I know, more often than not, life doesn’t go as planned. We move. We lose loved ones. We transition into new positions. We lose jobs. We face betrayal. We break trust. We face heartbreak. We face trauma. We face change.
We fall down, pick ourselves back up, and move forward.
Life can bring us unasked-for circumstances. Or we can make decisions that expedite our journeys toward rock bottom. One way or another, the unexpected twists and turns of life can be unnerving.
For me, this past year has been one filled with immense amounts of pain. I’m not proud to admit that such pain was my own doing; I’ve made choices that I’m not proud of, and it’s hurt those closest to me and many more. I’ve broken trust. I’ve betrayed those I love dearly. And I’ve lost far more than I could have ever imagined from my selfish decisions.
And I’m still recovering. I’m still healing from my self-inflicted wounds, and I’m still cleaning up the destruction left from the storm I created.
But writing this (and returning to writing more on here again) has very little to do with reliving my past and divulging the details of my bad choices, but it has very much to do with inviting you into my healing process.
Because I discovered something beautiful from this process: I wasn’t alone. And I don’t mean that I wasn’t alone in the details of my story and my experiences (even though that was true too). But I wasn’t alone in my pain and suffering. I wasn’t alone in my denial and confusion. I wasn’t alone in my depravity and brokenness.
One of the most beautiful and humbling reminders of our humanity is that simple truth: We are not alone.
Our wounds, mistakes, failures, shortcomings don’t separate us. They can actually unite us like nothing else. Our ability to show up, make peace with what is true, and (in a healthy way) express ourselves can be the most beneficial to our healing process.
And it can also be beneficial to others.
I’m in the process and on a journey toward restoration – with my relationship with God, my marriage, my friendships, my family, my legacy. But in the midst of this journey, I was reminded that everyone is also on that similar path. I found strength through being invited into others' stories, and found healing and purpose for my own in the middle of that inclusion.
Being authentic and opening up about our struggles also reminds us about another beautiful truth: We are only human.
There’s only so much we can do on our own. We have our limits. Recognizing and embracing our limits only glorifies God’s limitless power within our stories. And I know that this may sound like a paradox, but that type of surrender is incredibly empowering.
So I won’t remain silent in the midst of my healing. And that’s mostly because I wouldn’t want others to stay silent in theirs. I’m thankful for the many voices that guided me back to truth, especially the ones who did so unknowingly through sharing their stories.
Without the power of stories and the ability to share them, big or small, I wouldn’t have been able to draw closer to the most authentic, truest form of myself.
And I just have this hunch that this is true for a lot of us. The truth of who you are can be unearthed through truly facing our story and empathizing with others.
So, this is all to say: We need you. We need your story.
I needed you. I needed your story. I heard your stories. And I’m continuing to heal with the help of your stories.
We need to take the risk and find our voice even in the midst of darkness and pain because our stories matter.
Our stories remind us that we’re ultimately a part of something bigger than ourselves.