It’s not always about your story. Sometimes it’s more about the aftermath of your story, and how it impacted upon your life, that becomes the real story people want to know.
In the last month, I’ve had the privilege to stand before maybe 200, possibly more people, as I’ve shared my personal story and enlightened others on ways to preserve our past for our future with ‘Button Jar Stories’. I’ve done this through workshops I’ve presented and events where I’ve been invited as Guest Speaker. What I’ve come to realise is that it’s not so much my story that people are interested in. The interest is in the way my story and events in my life, have impacted upon my life. For some, this is ‘real’ story.
Writing memoirs or journaling your memories is much the same.
It’s not always easy to relive those stories that have been most challenging or life changing. Intentionally putting yourself back in that time and place can be quite painful, yet there is some part of you, that wants to tell that story. You feel you need to validate that episode in your life to those you love and care for, so they will place a value on it, as you have.
But here’s the thing.
Your friends and family don’t always want to hear your story. Often all they want is to understand why you are as you are, and that comes down to simply sharing the life lesson, or the insight gained from that experience. By simply stating that there was a period in your life that in hindsight you see has had the most profound impact on why you do what you do, or feel as you do, or react as you do….then that is the most ‘telling’ part of your story.
Our stories shape and define us, there is no question in that. But it is the character building; the life lessons and strengths gained from those experiences of our stories, that become the greatest words of wisdom and testament of who we are, that we can leave to those we love.
So let me ask you….
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from the most challenging period of your life?
Who in your family truly understands that part of you?
Could this be the first of your ‘Button Jar Stories’!